Unfortunately a part of living in our great country means some of us live with the threat of bushfires.
With our South Australian bushfire season approaching it is really important to be bushfire ready. And this isn’t just for those living in country or rural areas, it is relevant for anyone living in leafy suburbs.
Preparing your property for fire season takes time - you need to start preparing NOW to make sure your home has the best possible chance of withstanding a fire.
Things you should consider are:
- Clean leaves from gutters, roofs and downpipes regularly, and fit quality metal leaf guards.
- Mow your grass regularly, both in the front and back yards.
- Install fine steel wire mesh screens on all windows, doors, vents and weepholes.
- Fit metal NOT plastic fly screens on windows and doors.
- Enclose open areas under your decks and floors.
- Seal all gaps in external roof and wall cladding.
- When installing LPG cylinders around your home, make sure that pressure relief valves face outwards so that flame is not directed towards the house.
- Keep your backyard tidy, free from any build up of flammable material.
- Relocate any flammable items away from your home including woodpiles, paper, boxes, crates, hanging baskets and garden furniture.
- Remove excess ground fuels and other combustible material.
- Do not deposit tree lopping’s, grass clippings and other materials that could aid a fire on your property, or on council reserves or bushland.
- Ensure your garden hoses are long enough to reach the perimeter boundary of your property.
- Plant trees and shrubs that are less likely to ignite due to their lower oil content.
- Trim low lying branches two metres from the ground surrounding your home.
- If you have a swimming pool, have a Static Water Supply sign placed on your front fence. Contact your local fire station for information.
- Consider purchasing a portable pump to use from your swimming pool or water tank.
- On Total Fire Ban days obey regulations regarding barbecues and open fires.
- Ensure ALL members of the family know where the community evacuation area is.
- If there is a Community Fire Unit nearby, consider becoming a member.
- Make sure that if there is a fire hydrant outside your home it is easily located and not obstructed.
Although your insurance provider would already know of the associated risks of your property (based on your post code), they still do expect you to maintain your property to keep bush fire safe; in fact it’s an obligation on all home insurance policies to maintain your home to a satisfactory condition.
So start planning and acting now!
Visit the South Australian CFS website for more tips on getting your property bush fire ready, find your bushfire risk status and how to put together your Bushfire survival plan.
Don’t forget, as South Aussies we all have the responsibility to keep our high risk areas safe, don’t throw rubbish or cigarette butts out of the window and steer clear of high risk areas during extreme fire danger days.