How to prepare for bushfire season

It’s important to prepare for the upcoming bushfire season. 

It’s winter at the moment, but spring and summer are quickly approaching and we can’t wait to get outside and enjoy the warmer weather.

Most Australians will agree there’s nothing better than being outdoors on a warm, balmy evening.

Unfortunately, Australia’s dry climate can seriously increase the chance of bushfires.

When it comes to bushfire season, being properly prepared in the event of a fire can be the difference between life and death.

Preparation is the most important part, so make sure you follow these simple tips.

Discuss what to do if a bushfire threatens your home

It’s important that everyone is on the same page in the event of a bushfire.

Figure out whether you’ll leave or stay and defend your property.

Leaving is always the safest option – the earlier you get out of the affected area, the safer you’ll be.

If you do decide to stay, make sure that everyone knows exactly what the plan is.

Things can turn deadly quickly, especially if someone isn’t following the plan.

It’s also important to have a backup plan (or several) in the event that a fire strikes while only some members of the family are home.

If you live in a bushfire-prone area, it’s also a good idea to rehearse your plan every now and then.

How to prepare for bushfire season - Bushfires can more quickly. Be prepared, Australian Outdoor Living.
Bushfires can move quickly, so be prepared.

Prepare your home and get it ready for bushfire season

There are lots of simple things you can do around your property that will help you in the event of a bushfire.

Keep overhanging trees and shrubs nice and short, and mow the grass around your home on a regular basis.

Remove flammable materials away from your home.

Make sure you also keep your gutters free of leaves and debris – burning embers can travel through the air and set this debris on fire.

You should also keep garden hoses at all outside taps around your home, just in case you need to use one at short notice.

There are also ways to use home improvements to help protect your home. For example, roller shutters from Australian Outdoor Living are CSIRO-approved when it comes to protecting homes from ember attacks.

If you’re looking at adding a timber structure such as a pergola or timber deck, you should choose timber with a high fire resistance – such as merbau, spotted gum or blackbutt.

Roller shutters will protect your home from ember attacks.

Understand the risks of bushfires

There’s a lot of misinformation out there surrounding bushfires, so it’s important you understand exactly how dangerous bushfires can be.

Some people are under the impression that they don’t need a bushfire plan, and they can just up and leave when they see smoke. This is false.

Bushfires move quickly, so once you see smoke, it may be too late and your exits may already be blocked.

Likewise, some people may rely on news organisation to keep updated about bushfires. This is also dangerous, as bushfires often knock out power and telecommunications.

Another dangerous assumption a lot of people make is that they’ll be able to outrun a bushfire in your car. The fact is, a lot of people end up dying in their car trying to escape.

How to prepare for bushfire season - Smoke can be just as dangerous as the flames, Australian Outdoor Living.
Smoke can be just as dangerous as the flames.

Bushfires move fast and they’re incredibly unpredictable. Having a flexible plan in place just in case one does occur is the best way to survive.

There are plenty more things you can do to minimise the dangers of bushfires for you and your family. Check out your state’s fire service websites for more specific information regarding your area.

Read here to learn about the rules on building a timber deck in a bushfire prone area.

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