Bushfire Assessment Reports


As South Coast NSW residents, we have dedicated our careers to helping you reduce your bushfire risk. If you need to assess your property or development to ensure you’ve planned adequately for bushfires, we’re the experts you’re looking for. Get your property professionally assessed for bushfire risk today.

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We help you ensure the safety of your people and property

Few places around the world experience the catastrophic bushfire conditions as we do here in Australia. As there’s no way to prevent them entirely, all you can do to stay safe is to be informed and prepared.

At Bowantz Bushfire & Environmental, we specialise in Bushfire Hazard Management Reporting – helping you to understand your risks, so you can plan accordingly and save lives.

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NSW RFS Bushfire Prone Land Search Tool

Who can we help

We help our clients to understand, quantify and manage their potential risks to people and property.

  • Local, State and Federal Government
  • Firefighting Authorities
  • Private Landowners
  • Developers
  • Homebuilders
  • Prospective property buyers
  • Regional community groups
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What we do

Bowantz provides the following Bushfire assessment and reporting services to our clients throughout the New South Wales South Coast.

BAL Certificate

Completion of Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) Risk Assessments and Certificate.

A BAL Certificate is a report often required by council to be completed and submitted during the development application process. If you are intending on building, renovating, or purchasing an existing property on bushfire prone land, a BAL certificate will likely be required. A BAL Certificate identifies the risk of exposure of bushfire for your property which not only helps save lives and property, but can also be a great tool in helping with building, planning and budgeting as well as price negotiation purposes.

The following are the most common triggers for a Council to request a BAL Certificate:

  • You are planning to submit a development application for a new dwelling on a block of land that hasn’t been developed before
  • You are undertaking modifications or extensions to an existing dwelling and you need to comply to the new code
  • You are purchasing an existing property that was built prior to the new code and standards

BAL Certificate FAQ's

What is a BAL and when do I need one?

BAL or Bushfire Attack Level is a scaled measure used to determine the amount of exposure the building will have to a bushfire. The BAL takes into consideration the potential exposure of a building to radiant heat, ember attack and direct flame contact from the existing bushfire hazard.

How long will a BAL certificate take?

BAL Assessments take our office approximately 2 weeks on average, to complete from the initial lodgement of enquiry.

What do I need to provide for this certificate?

Lot and DP number of the property, known siting location and layouts of the building if it is a new build or addition & any relevant communications / correspondences with the local council or RFS. We can help with this.

Can I do this myself?

Some council’s will accept a self-assessed BAL rating from the landowner, some councils will require a certified bushfire consultant to provide the BAL ratings. Beyond the building approvals process, insurance companies may be reluctant to accept self-assessed bushfire ratings for a building which may lead to non payment of an insurance claim, which could be devastating after a bushfire disaster.

What are the different BAL ratings and how do they affect me?

BAL ratings are radiant heat and bushfire attack exposure measures which are presented in kilowatts per square metre of radiant heat exposure the building may experience during bushfire conditions.
The lower the BAL rating exposure for a building the less bushfire attack exposure the asset is predicted to receive under bushfire conditions.

BAL Ratings Table – Table A1.7 Source Planning for Bushfire Protection 2019 page 93.

What are the costs associated with the different BAL levels?

BAL ratings in the higher end of the scale being BAL 29- 40 and BAL Flame Zone significantly increase the cost of construction due to the need for superior building performance to withstand the increased bushfire attack exposure predicted at a location. Higher BAL ratings will require improved materials and building products such as fire retardant cladding, heat resistant external facades, doors and windows and alternative design to protect the building from failure under greater bushfire attack exposures.

Why should I get a BAL certificate completed prior to purchase?

Getting a BAL certificate completed prior to purchase would give you a clear understanding of site limitations under bushfire conditions and present definite construction standards for a building thus giving you a clearer understanding of risk and budget costs for your build or renovation project. Our BAL assessments and advice will improve house design, reduce potential build costs and increase safety to our clients.

Get a BAL Certificate Quote

Bushfire Assessment Report

Compliance with NSW Government Planning for Bushfire Protection (PBP 2018)

Depending on the outcome of your BAL Certificate assessment you may be required by council to submit a Bushfire Assessment Report. A Bushfire Assessment Report is a far more comprehensive report detailing what bushfire protection measures can be deployed in your project design to achieve a desired BAL rating and comply with building code and regulations.

Bushfire Assessment Report FAQ's

What is a bushfire assessment report and when do I need one?

A bushfire assessment report is a planning document that aids in the decision of the siting and layout of your house to reduce the amount of exposure to your bushfire risk. Once a landscape risk for bushfire is determined, the report will identify and document what bushfire protection measures can be deployed in project design in order to achieve a desired BAL rating and comply with building code and regulations.

A bushfire assessment report also helps determine your project design, possible construction materials, firefighting measures and access, evacuation strategies for the site under a bushfire event. The assessment process gives a clearer indication of your overall site risks and potential costs of construction.

How long does it take?

Bushfire Assessment Reports generally take around 3 weeks on average for our consultants to prepare from engagement to completion.

What do I need to provide for this report?

You will need to provide your Lot and DP number and a designated building envelope location provided by your local council for a new build. Known siting location, layouts and plans of the building if it is a new build or addition & any relevant communications / correspondences with the local council or RFS.
We can help with this.

Get a Bushfire Assessment Report Quote

Bushfire Hazard Reduction Certificate

Applications for Bushfire Hazard Reduction Certificates

The key to reducing the impact of bushfire on your property is to responsibly and effectively reduce fuel levels through bush fire hazard reduction work. In the past, for private landowners, this has meant seeking a number of approvals from a range of government departments.
Under the new simplified system a Bush Fire Hazard Reduction Certificate provides a single approval process for planned hazard reduction works.

Bowantz Bushfire and Environmental services takes the guesswork out of applying for a Bushfire Hazard Reduction Certificate. Our team assists customers to understand the process from start to finish.

Bushfire Hazard Reduction Certificate FAQ's

What is a Bushfire Hazard Reduction Certificate?

A bushfire hazard reduction certificate is a letter of approval granted by the NSW Rural Fire Service to undertake bushfire hazard reduction works on private or public land (based on land holder approvals also). These hazard reduction works may include vegetation thinning and clearances to produce a reduction of the potential fuel loads around your building or even controlled backburning to reduce vegetation fuels.

How long does it take?

An application will need to be submitted to your local Rural Fire Service Officer. If there is no endangered or threatened species flora or fauna on your proposed area of hazard reduction and no complex elements to undertaking the work, the NSW RFS usually have the certificate back within 3-4 weeks.

What do I need to provide for this certificate?

You will need to provide a detailed map of the area you wish to undertake the works in and a methodology of how you propose to do the work. We can help with this. The RFS may then send an officer to inspect the site and process the application.

Get a Bushfire Hazard Reduction Certificate Quote

Asset Protection Zone Clearing

Provision of Asset Protection Zone (BAL) Clearing in accordance with NSW RFS Regulation

Bowantz Bushfire and Environmental not only provide the necessary support and assistance regarding your Bushfire Assessments and reporting, but we also provide Asset Protection Zone clearing services. Our highly experienced team perform the work in accordance with your requirements. Because we can take care of the process from start to finish you know that if any issue pops up along the way, we will be well equipped to deal with it and the whole process will be much more cohesive than hiring separate contractors for each stage.

Asset Protection Zone Clearing FAQ's

What is Asset Protection Zone clearing?

An Asset Protection Zone or ‘APZ’ is an area surrounding your house or asset that has a reduced fire fuel load through the clearing of vegetation. This clearing separation essentially works as a buffer between the bushfire hazard and your house or buildings.

When do I need this service and why?

An Asset Protection Zone or ‘APZ’ may be needed if you are undertaking a new build, you may have received a letter from the RFS requesting that you maintain an existing APZ, or you may be simply increasing your own fire protection methods for an existing house or asset that is in bush fire prone land.

How long does it take?

The amount of clearing needed to instate your APZ and the proposed clearing methods will determine how long it will take to complete. If you have simple scrub and grass surrounding vegetation type, then it could take our team a day to complete clearing works. If you have a large forest some approvals may be required and it could take several weeks. Give us a call to discuss.

Do I need to provide anything?

You will need to provide approval from your local council &/or NSW RFS office, to implement an APZ. We can help with this.

Get a Asset Protection Zone Clearing Quote

About Bowantz Bushfire & Environmental

Since 2006, we’ve been working with state government authorities, local councils and private landowners to save lives and protect assets.

The team, headed by Project Managers Kurt Bowman and Daniel Anderson, carry a wide range of qualifications; ensuring you get expert advice.

Get your property professionally assessed for bushfire risk today

The best way to save lives and reduce your risks is by getting a Bushfire Hazard Management Report for your property. To get in touch with us for a consultation, click the button below to fill out our form and we’ll contact you soon.

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