Bushfires are a constant threat in Australia, and as such, it is essential to have measures in place to protect homes and properties. One important component of bushfire protection is having a bushfire-rated water tank. While there are no tanks that are completely fireproof or fire resistant, these tanks are specifically designed and constructed to help protect homes and properties in the event of a bushfire—often a requirement for a Certificate of Occupancy.
The importance of Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) to your home and choice of water tank
Geelong-based Stainless Steel Tanks is a leading supplier of water tanks in Australia that offers a range of tanks with appropriate Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) rating. BAL rating is a measure of a property’s potential exposure to ember attack, radiant heat, and direct flame contact in the event of a bushfire. The rating system ranges from Low BAL (no significant risk) to BAL FZ (extreme risk), and the appropriate rating for a property is determined by its location, vegetation, slope, and other factors. Oftentimes, the BAL rating is high for properties in remote, rural, or regional areas.
|Bushfire attack level
|Radiant heat exposure (AS 3959)
and levels of exposure
|Predicted bushfire attack and levels of exposure
|Although the risk is low and radiant heat is not significant, ember attack may still happen. If in a designated BPA with a BAL – LOW rating, construction to a minimum BAL 12.5 standard is still required.
|BAL – 12.5
|0 to 12.5 kW/m2
|The primary risk is from ember attack, with a low level of risk from radiant heat.
|BAL – 19
|12.5 to 19 kW/m2
|The risk level is moderate, with a higher chance of exposure to ember attack and burning debris ignited by wind-borne embers, which also increases the probability of exposure to radiant heat.
|BAL – 29
|19 to 29 kW/m2
|The risk level is high, with an escalating level of ember attack and burning debris ignited by wind-borne embers, resulting in a greater probability of exposure to radiant heat.
|BAL – 40
|29 to 40 kW/m2
|The risk level is very high, with an escalating level of ember attack and burning debris ignited by wind-borne embers, resulting in a greater probability of exposure to radiant heat, as well as the possibility of direct exposure to flames.
|BAL – FZ
|40 kW/m2 + (flame contact)
|The risk level is extreme, with a high likelihood of direct exposure to flames from the fire front, as well as a significant level of exposure to radiant heat and ember attack.
Our stainless steel tanks are compliant with regulations and outperform other types of tanks
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and Monash University have recently conducted research, testing the performance of different types of water tanks subject to bush fires. They found that stainless steel tanks significantly outperformed Colorbond tanks and plastic or polyethylene tanks. If you want to be in the safest position possible in the case of a bushfire, steel tanks are the way to go.
Our bushfire-protective tanks are fitted with CFA-compliant fittings, that the Country Fire Authority (CFA) are able to connect up to if required (65mm outlet, ball valve and three thread). All our tanks meet the relevant council and CFA compliance requirements for varying BAL ratings and area regulations.
Our tanks can be manufactured to hold a reserve of water meeting the requirements of their permit while also allowing for domestic use that won’t affect the water reserved for the CFA.
We provide high-quality bushfire-rated water tanks
The water stored in a bushfire-rated water tank can be used for a variety of purposes, such as extinguishing fires and protecting homes from ember attacks. The tank itself is constructed using materials that are designed to withstand high temperatures and slow down the spread of fire. Stainless Steel Tanks’ water tanks are made from high-quality stainless steel, which has excellent corrosion resistance, durability, and strength, making them ideal for use in harsh environments.
In addition to providing bushfire protection, our water tanks offer other benefits as well. For example, it can be used to collect and store rainwater for household use, reducing reliance on mains water supply and lowering water bills. It can also be used for irrigation, livestock watering, and other agricultural purposes.
Stainless Steel Tanks offers a range of BAL-rated water tanks with different sizes and capacities to suit various needs and budgets. We are able to take care of everything for your from delivery to installation and maintenance services to ensure that your tank is installed correctly and performs effectively at all times.
By choosing a tank with the appropriate BAL rating, property owners can have peace of mind knowing that they have taken steps to protect their homes and property in the event of a bushfire. Get in touch with our team for more information and for help in choosing a water tank by determining the BAL rating in your area.
Read about CSIRO’s research “Tanks On Trial: Performance of rainwater tanks in bushfire conditions.”
Read more on Victorian Building Authority’s guide on BAL and bushfire areas and overlays.