Even if your home is not set in the midst of bushland you can still be vulnerable to bush fires. In fact, more homes are burned from ember attack than are set alight by a fire-front. Burning leaves, twigs and branches can be carried through the air for quite a distance, setting fire to houses that might not seem close enough to the fire-front to be at risk.
The cooler months are a good time to get your home bush fire ready and to consider carefully how you would respond in the event of a bush fire affecting your neighbourhood. Careful preparation can save both your home and your life.
So, in the spirit of it being better to be safe than sorry:
Clean up and remove leaves and twigs from around your home. Keep grass short and cut back overhanging trees. Don’t store firewood or other fuel near your home.
Regularly clear out gutters and downpipes and fit metal leaf guards.
Check the condition of your roof and external walls. Replace missing tiles and seal any gaps. Fit metal fly-screens or shutters to your windows.
Make sure you know where your water is. Are there fire hydrants near your home? Ensure they’re not obstructed and are easy to find. Purchase a garden hose long enough to reach the edges of your property. Do you have any other water sources like a swimming pool or water tank? Consider putting a Static Water Supply sign on your fence to alert fire fighters.
Make a plan. Decide how you will evacuate in case of bush fire, and make sure you discuss your plan with family and neighbours.
Consider becoming Community Fire Unit members with the NSW Rural Fire Service. Members receive training and equipment to prepare, prevent and protect from bush fires.
For more information on bushfire readiness visit the NSW Rural Fire Service website