Technical Information

Bushfire Prone Areas

Bushfire Prone Areas

Warrior Systems are focused on providing protection to window and door openings. Our products are rigorously tested to meet and exceed the AS3959 requirements for BAL – FZ (Flame Zone) construction – and by exceed, we mean by orders of magnitude, up to 4 times the performance levels required.

Why? Because in Australia, bushfires are real.  They occur regularly.  Some of our friends and families are volunteers, just like yours.  Some of them live in communities just like yours.  We know, that sooner or later, our products will have to be more than just a method of achieving compliance, they will need to perform and that now is not the time for compromises.


Services Overview

Our Customers know purchasing BAL FZ windows and BAL FZ shutters is only part of the process.  We provide guidance with product selection and design to maximise your savings.  By working with our customers we have shown that our Flame Zone shutters for example are no more than some BAL 40 shutters.  The best results are achieved by contacting us early, before designs are finalised.  This also allows us to work with your designer to integrate our products into your home.  The last thing you want is to have a beautiful home with flame zone products looking like they are a bolt on afterthought.  If you are unsure, please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss.

Flame Zone categories are a serious matter, and now is the time to ensure you commence preparation of your survival plan.  The information we provide should be incorporated into your plan – especially where shutters and openable windows are to be used as you will need time to close them all to be effective against flame zone bushfire attack levels.

Warrior Windows are continually improving our range, our research and development program means that specifications may change without notice.  If you don’t see something you would like incorporated into your home here, then please contact us to inquire about its likely availability.  New systems are regularly under development and will be added to this website only once the full compliance documentation has been received from the relevant Authorities.

Our extensive experience in fire testing of building products extends decades. Flame Zone compliance is clear in AS3959. When comparing our products please ensure you are comparing BAL FZ systems with BAL FZ systems.  Unfortunately, there are some product suppliers who do not understand the Regulations thoroughly and are advertising that combining BAL 40 products is equivalent to BAL FZ.  This is not the case.  The only guarantee of compliance is to test to the BAL FZ requirements.

AS3959 states “This Standard is primarily concerned with improving the ability of buildings in designated bushfire-prone areas to better withstand attack from bushfire thus giving a measure of protection to the building occupants (until the fire front passes) as well as to the building itself.”  Section 9 Construction for Bushfire attack level FZ (BAL FZ) is the only acceptable compliance method.  If you are receiving advice similar to this, we strongly recommend you seek a second professional opinion.

In simple, terms the BAL FZ testing requirements involve direct flame contact on the product.  All testing requirements up to and including BAL 40 ratings do not involve direct flame contact on the products.  A simple analogy here is to stand at a distance from a fire place.  At this distance most people are safe.  However, stand in the fire (not recommended) and the result will obviously be quite different.  Similarly, temperatures experienced in the BAL FZ fire test exceeds the melting point of plastics and aluminium, the typical construction materials for BAL40 products.   Those home owners that have purchased systems intended for BAL 40 use but have been advised that they will achieve BAL FZ levels of performance, no matter what the combination, should be extremely concerned and are advised that these systems will melt and not protect you or your home in a catastrophic fire event.

Fire performance is not the only requirement.  Energy efficiency, noise reduction, light transmission, durability and other technical requirements are also important for every day use.  The Warrior range is supported by all of the necessary data to provide confidence.

Product Selection


For optimum safety, your survival plan should influence your product selection.  For example, if your survival plan includes protecting animals and checking in on elderly neighbours and relatives, and you home as a lot of windows to be protected, it may not be practical to use a lot of manually operated flame zone shutters.  This option will require your time and focus away from these other important items in your survival plan.  In this instance a mix of shutters or flame zone windows may be a better solution.

Our automated shutters can be connected to a single point for quick and easy operation.  These shutters can also cover multiple windows and are therefore not as expensive as you might think when comparing the total cost of protecting your windows.

Items that you should consider before you make your product selection and how they may affect your survival plan include;

 Total quantity of manually operated systems required
 Location of manually operated systems
 Estimated time to deploy all systems (not just for your windows)
 Ease of operation (note: that location is also a factor here)
 How will window winders affect timing?
 Is there one or two sides of your home at more risk than the others?
 Will sequencing in a specific order help with the plan?
 How does this affect cost?

Every plan will be different and only you will know what is best for you and your family including your pets and livestock.We are happy to help you with any information you require to assist with your safety plan, including providing you with as many quote options you need in order to realise the optimum solution versus budget.  This is of course free of charge and there is no obligation to buy our products at any time.For those customers using Architects to design their home, we have CAD drawings available for Architects, just have them contact us and we can discuss the options with them and provide them with everything they need for inclusion in the design.We believe in our service and our products. We understand that our customers will purchase from us only if we have provided the correct total solution.  We also understand that you will not be able to identify the correct solution from the outset but this needs to be developed along with your ideas and plans and we therefore are available for you along the entire journey.

Survival Plan Info

Survival Plan Info

Disclaimer: Please read this in full and incorporate you own ideas/requirements into your survival plan.  We offer this information as a guide only and it should not be relied upon as a guarantee of survival in a bushfire event.  This information is not a survival plan in itself.

Bushfire Alert Levels can change quickly and any well-prepared plan may come unstuck in these instances. Make sure you consider as many scenarios as you feel are practical.  What happens if only one person is at home and 4 are needed to enact the plan in the time frame allowed, for example.  You should also rehearse your plans well before bushfire season is upon us.  Doing this will help you fine tune your strategy and increase your chances of survival.

After you have selected your products with your survival plan in mind, you will need to finalise and document your overall survival strategy.  Remember to keep it in a place where all members of your household can find it easily.  A pouch on the back of your pantry door is one suggestion.

When documenting your plan, we recommend that you include the following;

  1. Refer to the Fire Services web site in your state for more information.
  2. Remember that there may be a delay in receiving an alert level. Bushfire’s are known to change conditions very quickly.  The fire may be closer than you think.
  3. Leaving your home should be a part of your plan. As much as some home owners do not want to leave, you should consider the conditions when your plan dictates you have no option but to leave.
  4. You should note locations of designated safe refuges as a meeting point in your area along with any other strategy you may need in the event of a necessary evacuation.
  5. You should include an evacuation plan as a contingency if, for example, the time to execute all or part of your safety plan is greater than the estimated time for the fire to arrive. Realising it is futile to stay at the last minute may put your own life and those of your family at risk, especially if you do not have a safe plan to leave.
  6. Close all of your BAL FZ Warrior windows and doors as soon as you receive advice that a fire has started. This is an obvious decision that will assist to keep smoke and embers out of your home but will also assist in reducing the overall time deploy your other survival plans including closing any Warrior shutters that you may also have installed.  At this time, you should also consider deploying your Flame Zone Warrior Shutters at least on the side of your home most at risk.
  7. If you are at home and require daylight, at least close those shutters in rooms that you are not using, but do not leave more open than you are capable of closing quickly should the alert level or weather conditions change.
  8. Remember that there may be a delay in receiving an alert level. Bushfire’s are known to change conditions very quickly.  The fire may be closer than you think.
  9. If you have to leave your home for any reason after you have received advice that a fire has started in your area, then you should also deploy your all of your Warrior shutters. This is in case you are unable to return to your home or you return home will reduced time to act.
  10. Do not open windows, doors and shutters until you receive advice that the fire has been extinguished.

Bushfire Alert Levels can change quickly and any well-prepared plan may come unstuck in these instances. Make sure you consider as many scenarios as you feel are practical.  What happens if only one person is at home and 4 are needed to enact the plan in the time frame allowed, for example.  You should also rehearse your plans well before bushfire season is upon us.  Doing this will help you fine tune your strategy and increase your chances of survival.

Research and Development

Warrior Windows and shutters are the most cost effective flame zone solutions on the market.  Not only that they are also the most extensively fire tested.  Typically, flame zone products only need to be fire tested once.  While this may seem illogical, one lucky fire test is all that anyone needs.

That is just not good enough for the Warrior Window, Warrior Door and Warrior Shutter range.  Multiple fire tests have already been conducted on our standard range to ensure reliability is achieved.  Fire testing above and beyond the minimum requirements is what drives us.  Our products outperform any other system available.  With inherent fire ratings beyond two hours for our Warrior Shutter range for example, proven on multiple fire tests in Australia and around the world.  Additional research and development include full scale house testing at Mogo in Southern NSW as shown below.  This test exposed the Warrior Shutter to extremes around x3 that expected of the product under the AS3959 requirements.  However, the shutter still maintained what we term its ‘fire integrity’.

Research and Development

Reliability testing also exceeds that required in Australian Standards.  Fire rated products are naturally a little more cumbersome than their non-fire rated equivalents, however cycle testing on our motorised Warrior Shutter shows in excess of 30,000 cycles without any failure.   Believe it or not, the minimum requirements for fire shutters under Australian Standards is only 50 cycles.  Quite in adequate in a flame zone application.

Flame Zone

The current Australian standard which governs the construction and protection of Australian homes in bush fire areas is AS3959-2009. This was revised to include the recommendations of the Royal Commission which was conducted in response to the devastating Black Saturday Victorian bushfires.

AS3959 also known as the ‘Bushfire Code’ provides councils and private certifiers the information and methodology to determine the threat level for your area. It also details the acceptable systems which can upgrade your house to the required level of protection.

Elements such as the areas previous fire history, vegetation type and density as well as the ground slope all go towards determining the level of ‘fire attack’. Divided into 6 separate levels known as Bushfire Attack Levels (BAL’s), these reflect the level of protection require for your property.

There is a major difference between BAL FZ and the other categories of bushfire attack.  All attack levels up to and including BAL 40 do not involve direct flame contact on the products being tested.  This is a much less onerous test.  These tests are akin to standing around a bon fire.  The hotter it gets the further back you stand, of course, but you never touch the flame.  The heat you feel is from the radiant heat from the flames.  These systems are not fire rated.  A product cannot be fire rated unless it is submitted to the one and only fire test method in Australia, AS1530.4.  Holding an approval for a fire rated product will refer to this fire test method.  All other test methods used in Australia are not considered fire tests at all.  They are merely radiant heat tests, to ensure the product will resist the level of heat required by the test.

Products approved as Flame Zone or BAL FZ systems have been submitted to a full scale fire test in accordance with AS1530.4 and also in accordance with the specific requirements outlined in AS3959 which are in addition to this fire test.  This fire test is onerous and involves fire contact for the full duration of the test directly on the system being fire tested.  The test is intended to demonstrate the ability of the system to contain the fire and not allow it to pass through or around the product.

Some materials perform better than others in fire tests.  Combinations of materials make it very difficult to predict a result.  Most products are made, through necessity, using different materials.  Current know-how and technology does not provide any level guarantee to how the system will perform in a fire test.  This is why Building Regulations, not just in Australia but around the world still fire test each and every system, as a full size system, before it can be used in any building to provide a barrier to fire.  The only certainty in a fire test is the materials will deteriorate, expand or shrink, bend and twist, melt and sometimes burn.

Some materials like timber have some inherent resistance to fire properties and with a little bit of help can pass a 30 minute fire test.  In the commercial industry timber is used in systems with fire ratings up to 60 minutes.  Other materials, that one would expect to perform better than timber, such as Aluminium, do not perform anywhere near as well.  This is because the melting point of aluminium is lower than that experienced in the Flame Zone fire test.  Without a lot of help and a lot of cost, aluminium will melt and will typically not be suitable for BAL FZ ratings.

Knowing this will assist you to understand which product supplier really knows what they are selling and whether the system is likely to work.  While some product suppliers advertise that combining a BAL 40 shutter with a BAL 40 window will meet the BAL FZ requirements, for example, they are doing this without any BAL FZ (fire) testing and it is most certainly not the case – no matter what level of expert claims it is.  The maths is simple and undeniable; the melting point of aluminium is around 660oC and the Flame Zone Fire test reaches 850 oC.  Some aluminium alloys commonly used in the building industry due to their cheaper cost, melt at much lower temperatures than pure aluminium. This means without doubt the aluminium will have melted and allowed the fire to pass from the “fire side” to the non-fire side.  In the case of Flame Zone.  This means that the fire has entered your home.  These BAL40 + BAL40 systems currently do not comply with the BAL FZ requirements and will most certainly put your home and your family at risk should the fire front reach your home.

If your home is classified as Flame Zone, this means that a bushfire can reach your home and in some instances, engulf your home.  This is a serious issue which home owners experience every bushfire season.   People die in flame zone classified areas every year. If your home is classified as Flame Zone, you should be aware and face the reality that sometime in the foreseeable future, you home will be in direct contact with a bush fire. Your product supplier should also take this high risk area as serious as you do.

Windows and doors are generally considered to be the weakest point where bushfires can enter the home.  You should be very cautious when selecting products for these areas of your home.

Warrior Shutters are an ideal system to upgrade your home if it is not currently constructed using the requirements in AS3959.  Interestingly, state governments in the past have provided financial assistance to upgrade homes affect by airport noise but to date we are not aware of any such assistance for home owners whose home is in a known Flame Zone environment but has been lucky enough to have not yet burn down.

If you are building a new home, you have the convenience to choose from all the Warrior range to suit your needs.

Glass Performance

All of the Warrior Windows and Doors range are supplied standard with clear safety glass.  Some glasses used for fire windows are not clear, they can be shades of orange for example.  These ‘coloured’ glasses will change the colour of light into your rooms and affect the colour you see in your interior design.  White rooms and other lighter neutral colours are affected the most.

Warrior Windows and Warrior Doors provide added value in meeting your energy and sound reduction requirements. Our glasses are available in single glazed units, double glazed units and even triple glazed depending on your required level of performance.

Please provide your energy saving requirements (U Value and SHGC) and we can provide the correct combination for you.  There are minimum building code requirements but you may prefer better performance than this, depending on the typical climate where you live.

The U-value column represents the heat loss/heat gain of the system (frame + glass).  The lower the U-value the better the glass will resist heat flow in and out of the window.

The Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) represents the ability of the system to reduce solar heat gain.  Selecting a low SHGC system will reduce your cooling loads but will also cut out some solar gain and may therefore increase your heating loads depending on the orientation, shading and climate zone.

Higher performing glasses will have an inherent acoustic rating but if noise transmission is a potential issue for your home, then we can also provide the acoustic data for you and work with you to achieve a suitable balance of your energy requirements and acoustic performance and importantly your budget.