Enjoying the Australian summer during bushfire season is stress free if you take the time to research and build a deck that meets your local area's Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) rating.
The BAL rating is part of an Australian standard (AS 3959) and sets guidelines for the construction of buildings in bushfire-prone areas.
Prior to building a deck or veranda in such areas you must first understand your unique BAL rating. The BAL rating measures a building’s potential exposure to embers, radiant heat as well as direct flame.
There are 6 bushfire attack levels in total (BAL Flame Zone, BAL 40, BAL 29, BAL 19, BAL 12.5, BAL Low) and each individual level is based on the region where you live, the vegetation around your property, the distance from your home to individual vegetation types and the slope of the property.
You can still enjoy the benefits of a deck surrounded by the Australian bush - you just need to understand the risks and be aware of any additional design, specification and construction parameters required, like using fire-resistant decking materials.
The BAL FZ (Bushfire Attack Level Flame Zone) is the most extreme rating that can be applied to building design and construction. HardieDeck™ decking is deemed non-combustible and can be installed in bushfire areas up to BAL-FZ, so you can still enjoy outdoor living at its best.
HardieDeck™ decking is made from James Hardie’s premium fibre cement. It creates a clean look to connect a stylish interior environment with the outdoors, without risking damage from the elements. Smooth, wide gap-free boards and freedom of colour choice makes this cement decking a stunning outdoor floor.
HardieDeck™ is designed to stay strong as it ages. Unlike timber, HardieDeck is resistant to damage from moisture and termites. And when the sun beats down, you can rely on HardieDeck™ not to warp or splinter.
If you want to make sure your deck makes the grade and creates a safe place to entertain, rethink traditional decking options and ask for HardieDeck™ decking by name.