Bushfires in Australia have occurred at an increased rate during the past decade with major impacts on the States of Victoria, Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory.
However, bushfires impact on every State in Australia and when it heats up in summer all inhabited areas of Australia have the potential threat of a bushfire to start at any location. So therefore most areas have been given a BAL level (bushfire attack level) Australian Standard for Bushfires:- BAL-AS 3959-2009 starting at BAL Low (not much chance of bushfire). BAL 12×5 (ember attack) then increasing levels BAL 19, BAL 29, BAL 40 to BAL FZ (flame zone). Every location in Australia will have one of these BAL levels, you would have to contact your local fire authority to check which BAL level refers to your location. You could be surprised which areas have been deemed a bushfire area, there are hotspots all over the country with BAL 40 and flame zone coming very close to some city limits.
Most people would know if they live in a heavily treed area they would have a high BAL level however a lot of people would live in a high BAL level area and not know it.
The 2003 Canberra bushfires – When bushfires burnt around the outskirts of Canberra for over a week the fires then entered the suburbs, 4 people died and 499 homes were destroyed. A number of houses almost 2 km from the fire front were destroyed by ember attack, it was like a giant hand coming down and picking them out, burning them to the ground. A huge dark cloud of smoke hung over the entire city like it was night, most homes were covered in embers, smaller spot fires broke out in different locations of the city. This gives an indication that these rogue bushfires can start anywhere.
Which brings us to the question: what type of roof ventilator can you use for the ventilation of your home? Well, there are not many that conform to Australian Standard BAL-AS 3959-2209 and during the 2003 Canberra bushfires whirlybirds were being sucked out of the roofs like a piece of tissue paper, so you would not want to be considering any type of turbine ventilator. These definitely cannot be used in an ember attack bushfire area area. You would not want to use any type of roof ventilator constructed from aluminium or plastic. There are other roof ventilators that have a basket below the roof line for collecting embers, just imagine having a basket full of embers inside your roofspace when it is 40° plus, all I can say is time-bomb.
There are other vents that sit on the ridgeline with an almost fully open vermin grill at the top, great place for collection of embers, another time-bomb. So what do you do? That is simple, why wouldn’t you chose the same roof ventilator system that NSW Rural Fire Services use on the South Coast Bushfire Stations in regions of NSW State Forests where they keep their fire fighting engines. They use the Smoothline Ventilators from Universal Tile Ventilators. No roof ventilator can compare to the Smoothline Roof Ventilator System, they are low profile, do not collect debris and do the job well. The only roof ventilator you can use in a bushfire area. Remember houses in Canberra that were not deemed to be in a bushfire area at least 2 km from the Flame Zone burnt to the ground, this is not to scare you but this is fact.