Today we look at what BAL ratings are and how BAL rated gutter guards can help keep your home protected in bushfire threatened areas.

Your home needs protection, especially when it comes to an ember attack.

The raging bushfires of Black Saturday in 2009 are still etched into the hearts and minds of countless Australians.

In order to provide your home with an effective ember attack defence against bushfires, you’ll need to understand the BAL rating system as it pertains to gutter guards.  


Explaining the BAL Rating System 


The Australian government devised a system known as the BAL rating to help gauge the level of risk that bushfires pose to any home.

Homes in different areas across the nation have a different BAL rating assigned to them to help manage the risk of bushfires.

A home in an area with a high BAL rating will require a more advanced ember guard defence.

There are specifications for a BAL rated gutter guard that outline exactly what is required to furnish an adequate level of security. 

To understand the BAL rating system you must first understand the fact that your home doesn’t have to be directly exposed to the flames of a bushfire to be at risk.

Flaming embers carried by the wind can wind up slipping in between gaps along the roofline and set your home ablaze. 

Ember guards help prevent this from happening and can effectively safeguard your home from catching on fire in this manner. 



Here’s an overview of some of the various levels of the BAL rating system and how each level correlates to a certain measure of risk. 


  • BAL LOW – homes that occupy an area with a BAL LOW rating are not held to any construction specifications to deflect bushfires. Although homes with this rating are not required by the Australian government to have bushfire defences like ember guards, it is still highly recommended. Bushfires are extremely unpredictable, and you owe it to yourself to defend your home against the risk of bushfires as much as possible. 


  • BAL 12.5 – Properties with a BAL rating of 12.5 have a relatively low chance of being at risk from burning embers and debris, however, they are still held to certain construction requirements that must be fulfilled to mitigate the risk of a bushfire. 


  • BAL 19 – If your home falls under a BAL rating of 19, your property is considered to have a higher risk of facing a bushfire and is also at risk from ember attacks and radiant heat. As such, homes with a BAL rating of 19 should be outfitted with adequate protections against ember attacks. Leaf Stopper is a non-combustible gutter guard, which if being used for the dual purpose of an ember guard, is ideal to protect your gutters in these zones. 


  • BAL 29 – For those of you with homes with a BAL 29 rating, the risk of an ember attack is even higher, especially from burning debris, radiant heat, and open flame. Buildings in BAL 29 zones require additional ember attack defences in their construction. 


  • BAL 40 – Any home with a BAL 40 rating is especially susceptible to ember attacks from burning embers and debris blown in by the wind. Homes with this rating are also significantly more likely to be directly exposed to the flames of a bushfire. It is recommended that homes with a BAL 40 rating use products that prevent the entry of embers and be constructed from flame-resistant materials. 


  • BAL FZ – this rating refers to zones with the highest level of risk from both open flame and burning embers from the wind. Some people choose not to even build in these locations. Anyone with a home with a BAL FZ rating should take utmost care in preventing damage from potential bushfires. 


What Are BAL Rated Gutter Guards?


BAL rated gutter guards help protect homes in areas with moderate to high BAL ratings against the ravages of bushfires and ember attacks more specifically.

Homes with a BAL rating between none and 29 should be equipped with a bushfire attack level gutter guard like Leaf Stopper. 

The below table shows how Leaf Stopper’s FINE Aluminium Mesh (1.8mm hole size) can be used as a gutter guard with ember guard properties for gutters between BAL 0 to 29 level areas.

Ember Guard Table


Leaf Stopper, the Ultimate Gutter Guard

Even if you don’t live in an area with a high BAL rating, protecting your home with Leaf Stopper is a smart investment. 

Constructed from superior mesh and materials.

Leaf Stopper is available as a DIY kit or you can choose to have it installed professionally.

Whichever option you choose, know that you are making the right decision for your home.

By choosing Leaf Stopper as your first line of defence against an ember attack, you’ll be joining the ranks of countless savvy and satisfied homeowners across Australia.

Want to give you and your home the best defence against ember attacks? Get in touch with the Leaf Stopper team. We have what you need to keep your gutters protected from ember attacks! 




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