Protect your family and home from bush fires this summer
For Australians in many locations across the country, the summer months present the risk of bush fires and thus the threat of injury and damage to property. For residents of such areas, it is very important to prepare for bushfires and to take action to reduce the associated risks.
One of the best ways to plan for the occurrence of a bush fire and to ensure the safety of you and your family is to put together a Bush Fire Survival Plan; the resources for doing so are available from the New South Wales Rural Fire Service’s website. According to the Rural Fire Service such a plan can help stop you from making rushed and dangerous decisions at the last moment.
The Rural Fire Service notes that the most important decision to make is whether you and your family will leave early or if you will stay and defend your well prepared home.
As each bush fire and individual and family circumstances are different, the situation will determine whether it is safe for you to stay at your property to protect it – although leaving early is always the safest option. However the RFS advises that regardless of whether you decide to leave early or stay and defend, you still need to prepare your property against the threat of a bush fire, as:
• A well prepared home is more likely to survive a bush fire
• A well prepared home can be easier for you and fire fighters to defend
• A well prepared home is less likely to put your neighbours’ homes at risk
• A well prepared home will give you more protection if a fire threatens suddenly and you cannot leave and have to take shelter.
The RFS suggests a variety of measures that will help you prepare your home for a bush fire, including:
• Cut back any overhanging trees or shrubs and dispose of cuttings immediately
• Remove and store any flammable items away from the house
• Store wood piles well away from the house and keep covered
• Make sure the pressure relief valves on LPG cylinders face outwards
• Clean leaves from the roof, gutters and downpipes and fit quality metal leaf guards
As mentioned, the NSW Rural Fire Service has a wealth of information and tips on its website that should help you to better prepare for bush fires this summer, ensuring the safety of yourself, your family and your property.