As an Australian resident, bushfires are not new to you. Occurring almost every summer, bushfires have devastating consequences on people and their properties. The country has six bushfire attack levels (BAL) and each property is classified into one of these categories based on location, surrounding vegetation, distance to vegetation and property slope. Here are some guidelines to help you understand security screen needs for a BAL 40 zone.
Mesh Screens And Frames Must Be Made From Metal
With a BAL rating of 40, your chances of damage from a bushfire remain quite high, which is why there are specific guidelines catering to external security or mesh screens. Security screen mesh and doorframes should be made from stainless steel or metal and should only have metal fixings. The max aperture for these screens should be 2mm. The Australian standard guidelines also state that these metal or bronze screens should externally protect openable and fixed areas of both windows and doors that fall in the BAL 40 zone.
Keep The Screens Closed In The Event Of A Bushfire
The logic behind these metal security screens is that while doors and windows may be closed while evacuating, they may be still subject to some damage from flying embers and ash. By installing these bushfire-compliant metal screens across all door and window openings, you'll be able to effectively keep out these damaging embers and protect your home better. Screens doors typically work best with self-closing mechanisms so that they shut automatically even if you forget to close them during the evacuation process. Just like door and window systems, these screens are designed to minimise the risk of property or life loss during a dangerous bushfire near you.
Understand Costs Involved For Installing BAL 40 Compliant Screens
Since there are specific guidelines covering metal screens when you live in a BAL 40 zone, you must be prepared to shell out extra in costs to get them installed. On an average, expect to pay around $80,000 to $100,000 to bring your entire home up to BAL 40 standards, which includes everything from cladding to gutter guards to subfloor protection to mesh screens. Even though the price seems significant, it is well worth it when you consider the cost of damage to your overall property. It's also unlikely that your insurance company will cover the cost of damage to your property if you fail to meet the safety guidelines stipulated by the Australian Standards.
Bushfire prone areas should not be treated lightly. Consider these factors when you're building and need to install security mesh screens in a BAL 40 zone.