With this Summer’s heatwave showing little sign of easing, and total fire bans in the days to come, Handyman Magazine has released an informative article in its February issue about being bushfire prepared, which we have republished in part here, to help you prepare for the threat of bushfire.
Your bushfire action plan
If you live in a high-risk area, consider your options and discuss them as a family before any threat of fire occurs.
- When the fire danger rating is catastrophic.
- If your property and home aren’t prepared.
- If there are kids, elderly or disabled people involved.
- If your house is vulnerable, such as a timber-clad home.
- If you are not confident using fire safety equipment.
- If you don’t have adequate protective clothing.
Stay and Defend
- When the property is prepared and well maintained.
- If you’re emotionally and physically prepared.
- If you know what to do before, during and after a fire.
- If you know how to use the fire safety equipment.
- If you have head-to-toe safety clothing to wear.
- If you have a backup plan in case something goes wrong.
What to Wear
- Ensure every member of the family has the right clothing to protect them from the
heat and flying embers.
- Sturdy leather workboots
- Woollen or cotton socks
- Cotton overalls or denim jeans
- Wide-brimmed or hard hat
- Protective glasses or goggles
- Heavy-duty cotton gloves
- Cotton cloth or mask for the face
- Long-sleeved wool top or thick cotton shirt
- Follow basic steps to keep the house in good order all year round.
- Install metal gutter guards
- Repair or replace broken tiles
- Install fine metal mesh screens
- Fit seals around doors and windows
- Enclose under-house areas
- Cover gaps in external walls
- Attach a gutter fire sprinkler system
- Battery radio for news updates
- Torch in case of power cuts at night
- Safety hoses that reach around the house
- Fire blankets
- Water pump
- Functional sprinkler system
In the Garden
Tips to help the garden become a barrier to fire rather than fuel for embers.
- Trim tree branches
- Mow the lawn
- Sweep up leaves
- Clear gutters
- Remove chopped wood
- Bring doormats inside
Handyman Magazine is available via subscription or from Bunnings outlets.
To subscribe to Handyman, call 1300 138 900 or go to handyman.net.au
Aussie notes these are general guidelines only. You should consider your individual circumstances and obtain comprehensive advice relating to fire safety before relying on these guidelines.