Bushfires can be devastating – and whilst they can occur all year round, they are more common in the Summer months when the environment is at its hottest and driest. Don’t wait until summer to start preparing your home and family for the bushfire season. There are things you can all year round to keep your property maintained and well prepared. The added benefit of which is that not only will you be reducing your bushfire risk, you will also be keeping on top of your preparedness for winter storms as well.
To help prepare your property for bushfire take these simple steps as a starting point;
Through Autumn and Winter:
– Prune trees to remove lower branches
– Clear long grass, rake leaves and twigs, and prune flammable shrubs
– Spray grass and weeds with suitable herbicide
– Ensure petrol and other flammable materials are stored away from your home
– Make sure your personal and home protection equipment is in good working order
– Overhaul your emergency pump, if you have one
– Develop, or review, your bushfire survival plan. Make sure everyone in the family/household knows what to do in a fire
– Move woodpiles and stacked timber away from the house
– Keep the grass short. On farms, keep grazing levels high
– Clean out gutters and remove debris from your roof
– Prepare your emergency kit, including your bushfire survival plan
In early Summer:
– Water lawns, trees and shrubs near buildings (on your rostered watering days) to keep them as green as possible
– Recheck personal and home protection gear, screens, water supplies and gutters.
For more information about how to prepare and maintain your property to reduce risk during bushfire and other incidents such as storm and flood, have a look at the ‘Are You Prepared?’ section of our website. In addition to this, more information can be found on the DFES website.