Building in bushfire prone areas

Is your property in a designated bushfire prone area?

You can check this by creating a Property Planning Report at VicPlan. Here’s how:

  • Visit the VicPlan website
  • Type in your property address
  • On the LHS click Create a Planning Property Report
  • Scroll to the end of the report to see if your property has a Bushfire Management Overlay

Building in a bushfire prone area 

If you want to build in a bushfire prone area, you must use special construction methods.

You will need to show that the building will comply with bushfire construction methods before a building permit can be issued. The construction methods will need to meet the measured Bushfire Attack Level (BAL), and you will need to build to the minimum BAL standard for improved bushfire protection. 

Please note that bushfire construction requirements do not guarantee protection from a fire front.

Bushfire Attack Level (BAL)

A Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) measures how much a building may be exposed to bushfire.

It assesses:

  • Possible ember attack
  • Radiant heat
  • Direct flame contact.

It also determines the level of protection needed. A BAL assessment will establish what construction methods and requirements you need to meet to help protect the building in the event of a bushfire – ranging from protection from embers to direct flames. 

A minimum construction standard of BAL 12.5 for ember protection has been adopted for construction within designated bushfire prone areas.

Bushfire hazard assessment

To find out the BAL for your property, you will need to have a bushfire hazard assessment undertaken. This assessment will guide construction requirements. 

This assessment inspection can be carried out by a building surveyor, owner, architect, building designer or builder.