15 Smart Ways to Keep Your Property Safe From a Bushfire
Summer is almost here and it’s bound to give us lots of beautiful days filled with sunshine and warmth. But we all know that when the weather turns very hot and dry, there’s the possibility that a fire will start. Is your property prepared for a bushfire?
As the bushfire season approaches it’s important to make changes to your property so it can survive a bushfire. A well-prepared home can also be easier to defend. From cleaning your gutters to keeping the grass and trees trimmed, here are 15 ways to make your property safe for the bushfire season.
1. Use crushed rock or gravel around your plants
Mulch or loose-leaf cover can easily fuel fires, so instead you should use crushed rock or gravel around the bottom of plants in your garden.
2. Create firebreaks with tiles and pebbles
Garden edging is an excellent way to create a barrier and a defendable space in your garden. If you have timber edging around your garden beds, consider replacing it with an edging made of stone tiles and pebbles to decrease potential fire fuel.
3. Build walkways and seating areas
You can further reduce potential fire fuel in your yard by building walkways and seating areas that are paved with stones and pebbles.
4. Keep plants away from your windows
Don’t place planter boxes at the bottom of your windows as these could catch fire and burn down your windows. The width of a stone path around your house is the ideal distance in which plants should be kept away from your windows.
5. Plant in pots
Pot plants are versatile – you can keep them near your property during winter and then you can move them away from your house and into your garden in summer. So consider planting in pots to help protect your property during the bushfire season.
6. Remove fallen leaves, twigs, and debris
If there are fallen leaves, twigs, and debris around your property, clean them up. These can catch fire and cause flying embers to burn through your home and surrounding objects.
7. Trim the grass, trees, and shrubs
Dry long grass, trees with long branches, and overhanging shrubs can easily catch and spread fire. Consider mowing your grass on a regular basis, and pruning your trees and shrubs to keep them 2 metres away from your home.
8. Have a long hose that reaches around your house
If a part of your property is on fire, a hose that’s long enough to reach around your house can help you put out the fire quickly and easily. You can also hose down your roof and the sides of your house to make them less vulnerable to incoming flames. This can help prevent embers from turning into bigger flames.
Make sure the hose is fitted with a good nozzle and has no leaks. If you’ll be getting your water from a tank, ensure the pump is in good condition so it doesn’t break down when you use it.
9. Clean your gutters
If there are leaves, twigs, and debris in your gutters, remove them because flying embers can take a hold of them and set your roof on fire.
10. Install gutter guards and a fire sprinkler system
You can further protect your roof and the rest of your property against a bushfire by installing metal gutter guards and attaching a fire sprinkler system to your gutters.
11. Repair your roof if tiles are damaged or missing
If your roof has damaged tiles, repair or replace them. And if there are missing tiles, install new ones. This way, fire won’t go through the roof and into your home.
12. Seal gaps in walls, under the house and around doors and windows
Consider repairing or covering gaps in external walls, enclosing gaps or areas under your house, and fitting seals around doors and windows to completely get rid of gaps.
13. Install door and window screens
You can further protect your property from bushfires by installing fine metal mesh screens on your doors and windows.
14. Store flammable items away from your house
You should safely store flammable fuels and chemicals such as painting solvents and methylated spirits in a shed outside your home. Flammable building materials like timber and other flammable items like firewood should also be safely secured away from your house. Moreover, when you’re not using the LPG cylinder for your BBQ, the pressure relief valve should be facing away from the house.
15. Put a Static Water Supply sign on your property entrance
If your house has a swimming pool, dam, or tank, you should put a Static Water Supply sign on the entrance of your property. This way, firefighters will know that they can get water from your place to put out a fire.
Protecting your home against bushfires
Bushfires are dangerous and deadly, so don’t wait until the last minute to prepare your property for a bushfire. With these tips, you can start preparing now and you should be able to protect your home from bushfires this summer.