All it takes is a little foresight in fire preparation to protect your family and property. With climatic conditions conducive to bushfire this year, Sydneysiders, especially those that live along the bush fringes, cannot be complacent when it comes to bushfire threats.
Pay attention to your decks, windows, doors and roof – these are the areas that can contribute more to your overall bushfire risk than others.
Here are some handy tips to get your house bushfire ready -
- Fit metal fly screens not plastic fly screens on all windows and doors. Plastic will melt in the heat.
- Install fine steel wire mesh screens across vents and weepholes. This prevents embers from entering your house.
- Enclose open areas under your house and deck and seal any gaps in wall cladding. This also prevents embers from igniting your house.
Handy hint – with all LPG cylinders around your home, make sure that pressure relief valves face outwards so that the flame is not directed towards the house. Mr Drains can install new LPG cylinders and check the safety of your existing cylinders.
Roofs and Gutters
- Remove the build-up of leaves from gutters, roofs and downpipes – be careful and wear safety gear when on the roof. If you need help on the roof and cleaning, call Mr Drains.
- Fit quality metal leaf guards, if falling leaves are a constant problem.
- Seal all gaps on external roof (Mr Drains can do this too!).
Vegetation is the primary source of fuel in a bushfire. The amount, type (flammability) and arrangement of vegetation easily affects how a bushfire will spread throughout a garden.
- Mow your grass regularly, and discard of the clippings.
- Keep your yard tidy, removing all dead branches and piles of leave litter or bark, or anything that would be considered ground fuel or combustible material. These fine fuels can ignite and be carried as embers.
- Trim low lying branches from trees about two metres from the ground surrounding your home.
Handy hint - Plant trees and shrubs that are less likely to ignite due to their lower oil content. Avoid climbing plants and vines as these act as ladder fuels, allowing the fire to climb into the canopies of trees. Check out this handy pdf for more information on landscaping for bushfire.
- If you have a swimming pool, alert firefighters by placing a Static Water Supply (SWS) sign on your front fence. Contact your local fire station for further information.
- Consider purchasing a portable pump to use from your swimming pool or water tank. Mr Drains can install a water tank, if you don’t already have one.
- If there is a fire hydrant outside your home, make sure it can easily be located and accessed.
- Ensure your garden hoses are long enough to reach the perimeter boundary of your property.
What about your business?
If your business is located near or around bush, put in place a strategy to help cope with a natural disaster. A bushfire plan can minimise your losses, help maintain continuity and recover quickly.
Communicate your safety plan with your employees in the case of emergencies.
Check your business insurance product disclosure agreement to ensure you are covered in the event of bushfire.
Turn to technology to help with bush fire prep
Have no idea where to start? Download the Rural Fire Service bush fire survival plan – it will walk you through all the factors you need to consider and decide as a family, should a bush fire threaten your home. You can also download it as an app, so you have it with you at all times.
Fires Near Me
This is the official smart phone application of the NSW Rural Fire Service. This app provides information on current incidents across NSW attended by the RFS and other agencies. It also provides information on total fire bans.
If you need assistance with your roof, gutters or LGP gas cylinder prep, Mr Drains can help in making your house safer during the bushfire season. And don’t forget to call 000 in the event of a fire or emergency.