For the past several months, the east coast of Australia has been battered with horrific drought conditions and extreme weather conditions resulting in catastrophic and devastating bushfires sweeping through NSW, QLD and SA. The burnt area in NSW alone, now covers more than 1,650,000 hectares, burning through bushland, farms, rural towns and homes.
The fire season is well and truly upon us and at the time of writing this, there seems to be no relief in the form of much needed rain in sight. We are in for a long, hot smoky summer. But we must remain vigilant and continue the preparation of our homes and properties as summer progresses.
A well prepared and maintained home is more likely to survive a bushfire. Even if you plan to leave early, the more you prepare your home, the more likely it is to survive a bushfire.
Here are some simple steps to help prepare your home against a bushfire.
Trim or remove vegetation
• Trim tree branches overhanging your house
• Remove or trim shrubs
• Keep grass areas well-trimmed and watered
• Rake up and reduce leaf litter (dead leaves)
• Ensure access tracks and driveways are clear and easy for vehicles to drive down
• Mow, graze or plough around crops, valuable assets and fence lines to prevent fire escaping from your property and to reduce the likelihood of fires entering
• Create a heavily grazed or ploughed paddock for stock.
Clean up around your house
• Replace broken roof tiles and seal gaps, vents and roof spaces to prevent embers entering your house
• Clear your gutters of leaves and debris
• Install metal gutter guards
• Move wood piles away from your house
• Fit seals around doors and windows to eliminate gaps
• Attach a fire sprinkler system to gutters
• Store fuels and chemicals away from your house
• Keep any LPG cylinders on a level concrete surface and secured by a chain. Face safety vents away from your house.
• Ensure hoses are long enough to reach around your house.
Whilst it’s extremely important to be prepared and we hope that you are…it’s definitely not too late. Take 20 minutes to discuss with your family what you’ll do if a bushfire threatens your home and then put your plan into action.
For more guidance you can contact our Bushfire Planning Services team. With a qualified Bushfire Planning and Design practitioner on our team, we provide a range of bushfire protection services aimed at reducing the impact of bushfires on human lives, property and the environment.
Get in contact with us now.