How To Prepare Your Home For The Bushfire Season
The negative effects of bushfires are deeply ingrained into the communities they have ravaged in the past and are unfortunately a common and inevitable part of Australia’s environment. It is always better to be prepared and important to have a plan in place for the upcoming bushfire season. Read on for some helpful tips to incorporate into your bushfire safety plan.
1. Have a strategy in place
- Get the whole family together and talk about what to do in case of a fire.
- Have a written safety plan for evacuating the house in the event of a bushfire, and make sure every member of the family is aware of its location before the fire season starts.
2. Keep up with routine home maintenance
- Make sure to clear gutters, roofs and downpipes of leaves. To make this task easier, install a high-quality metal leaf guard.
- Keep your lawn mowed short to lessen the spread in the event of a grass fire.
- During fire season, clear your property from combustible debris and materials. This includes leaves, wood, paper, boxes, crates, hanging baskets and outdoor furniture.
- Store your fuels and other flammable materials appropriately.
- Ensure your garden hoses are long enough to stretch all the way to the property line.
- Cut low-hanging branches around your property. A good rule of thumb is if it is lower than 2 metres to the ground, dispose of it.
3. Long-term fire season protection for your home
- Install fine steel wire mesh screens in your doors, windows, and vents.
- Seal off any exposed soil beneath your floors and decks.
- Close any openings in the outside cladding of the roof and walls.
- Inspect your property's pressure relief valves from gas cylinders for maintenance. Ensure that the cylinders are pointing away from your property to minimise the risk of accidental ignition.
- Put up a ‘Static Water Supply’ sign on your fence if you have a pool.
- Consider getting a portable pump to draw water from a pool or storage tank.
- When a Total Fire Ban is in effect, do not use any open flames or grills.
- If there is a fire hydrant outside your home, make sure it visible and is not blocked in any way.
The fire season can be a stressful time, so ensure you have a plan in place well ahead of time, so you and your family know what to do in case of an emergency. If you are well prepared, the local fire service will be able to help you and your neighbours quicker.
For more bushfire tips and information, check out your state’s Fire and Emergency Services website.
Disclaimer: The information provided is for guidance only and does not replace independent business, legal and financial advice which we strongly recommend. Whilst the information is considered true and correct at the date of publication, changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact the accuracy of the information provided. PRD will not accept responsibility or liability for any reliance on the blog information, including but not limited to, the accuracy, currency or completeness of any information or links.