Leading Australian window and door manufacturer Stegbar is helping homeowners living in bushfire zones take the anxiety out of summer with the launch of an extensively tested range of windows and doors that meet and exceed all Australian standards and ratings for bushfire resistance.

In response to the tragic 2009 Black Saturday fires in Victoria, Australian Standard 3959 (AS3959) was updated and the Building Code of Australia changed to reference the new standard in May 2010. The principal changes to AS3959 included new building and construction requirements for bushfire prone areas covering all aspects of the external built environment, including windows and doors.

JELD-WEN Australia’s director of marketing Bruce Tosello said: "For many Australians, choosing to build their home near or amongst bushland provides a peaceful and picturesque setting for most of the year. However, with the hotter summer months comes the ever present threat of bushfires in this country and as we have all seen houses more often than not will come under ember attack from a fire that may have started some distance away from their home. We all know just how destructive fires can be and the new regulations that have come into law in Victoria are a timely reminder for homeowners around Australia who chose to live near or in the bush."

Stegbar’s new range combines innovative design with stringent construction controls and quality components and materials, all complying with AS3959 and Australian Standard 1530.8.1 (AS1530.8.1) specifications, and has been independently tested by the CSIRO.

Stegbar’s bushfire rated windows and doors come in both timber and aluminium construction, give homeowners some peace of mind against the threat of ember attack from bushfires, and eliminate the need for bulky shutters, fire curtains or screens on fixed glazing.

"While our BAL40 performance-tested range provides home owners both a timber and aluminium window and door solution for areas that carry this high BAL rating, our standard range of timber windows and doors have been tested to meet the performance requirements in BAL12.5 and BAL19 areas," said Bruce.

"This means that you don’t have to compromise on your aesthetic choice, and don’t have to pay a premium just because you choose to live in an area that has been designated a bushfire prone zone by the recent regulatory changes."

Homeowners first need to determine if their land is located in a bush fire prone area, and the simplest way to do this is to consult with their local council or local fire authority. The authorities will determine a home’s BAL rating and any special building requirements for a particular area. Once homeowners have established their BAL rating, they can trust Stegbar to ensure their windows and doors will meet all the regulatory requirements for both bushfire and energy efficiency, while not compromising on aesthetics or functionality.