It might be cool or rainy outside, but the colder months of the year are actually the best time to prepare your home for bushfire season.
In many rural and suburban areas, bushfires can pose a real danger to property and lives. While there are services in place to fight bushfires, there are a number of things you can do to help protect your home.
Here are a few steps you can take now to prepare your home well in advance of bushfire season.
Keep your property clear of rubbish and/or vegetation
Now is a good time to trim trees and pick up leaves from around your home. If you have any debris lying around your house, take it away and dispose of it. Keeping the area around your property clear of anything that could pose a fire risk is a crucial step to keeping it protected in the event of a bushfire.
Clear out your gutters
Winter is a good time to clean out your gutters and remove any foliage dropped there during summer and autumn. Leaves and twigs in gutters can be a huge risk in a bushfire and can make it easier for a fire to move to the roof of your home.
Block up any gaps into your home
It’s not just the outside of your home that is at risk during a bushfire, embers and sparks can enter the inside of your home through air vents, gaps in the walls and openings in the roof. Make sure your home is adequately sealed so that no stray embers can get inside and cause damage from within. Generally this involves installing wire mesh screens on all windows, doors and air vents.
Move any gas or petrol containers away from the home
If you have spare gas canisters for a barbecue or camping, make sure they’re not stored against the side of your house. The cooler months are the time to think about relocating them to a shed or other area that’s away from your property.
Consider your family’s safety
If you live in a bushfire-prone area, it’s crucial to have an evacuation plan in place. Think about where you will go and when, and how you will get there. Don’t forget to include pets in your plan and practice it so all your family members know what to do in an emergency.
Be aware that during a bushfire there may be disruption to your electrical services. It’s a good idea to stock up on batteries, candles, torches and other supplies in case of a power outage.