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\u2019t wait to get outside and enjoy the warmer weather. Most Australians will agree there\u2019s nothing better than being outdoors on a warm, balmy evening. Unfortunately, Australia\u2019s 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\u2019s important that everyone is on the same page in the event of a bushfire. Figure out whether you\u2019ll leave or stay and defend your property. Leaving is always the safest option \u2013 the earlier you get out of the affected area, the safer you\u2019ll 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\u2019t following the plan. It\u2019s 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\u2019s also a good idea to rehearse your plan every now and then. 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 \u2013 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\u2019s a lot of misinformation out there surrounding bushfires, so it\u2019s important you understand exactly how dangerous bushfires can be. Some people are under the impression that they don\u2019t 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\u2019ll 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. Smoke can be just as dangerous as the flames. Bushfires move fast and they\u2019re 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\u2019s 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. Australian Outdoor Living is passionate about helping people love their life outdoors. We offer a range of products, including: Outdoor blinds Artificial grass Roller shutters Concrete\u00a0and\u00a0fibreglass\u00a0swimming pools Carports Timber decking Pergolas, verandah and patios Have you been thinking about renovating your home? Fill out the free measure and quote form at the top of this article and a member of our dedicated sales team will be in touch.