How to prepare your home for a bushfire

Whether you plan to leave early or stay and defend your home, your property will need to be prepared against bushfire threats. This is important for both your own safety, your family’s safety and your neighbours safety.

If you plan on leaving early, preparing your home will give it a greater chance of surviving flames and floating embers. If you plan on staying and defending your home, make sure your home is prepared well in advance. This will make your job easier and can reduce the amount of work you need to do to stop your house catching fire.

Taking measures to protect your home and preparing it for a bushfire will also put your neighbour’s home at less risk. Fires can quickly jump from one house to the next, so it is a good idea to encourage your neighbours to prepare their homes too.

In some cases a fire can threaten suddenly and you may not be able to get out in time. In these cases you need to take shelter in your home and if it is well prepared it will give you more protection.

Ways to prepare your home for bushfire season:

  • Make sure any overhanging trees and shrubs are cut back from your house and don’t leave the cutting near your home.
  • Opt for trees and shrubs with low oil content so they are less likely to ignite.
  • Check your roof:

-Replace any missing or damaged tiles

-Clear leaves from your roof and gutters and downpipes

-Fit your gutters with quality metal leaf guards

  • Consider installing a Static Water Supply sign (SWS) if you have a water tank, dam or swimming pool.
  • If your home has gaps underneath your house, seal them.
  • Keep woodpiles and garden mulch well away from your house.
  • Cut your grass short.
  • Make sure your doormat is made from non-combustible material.
  • Check external walls and seal any gaps.
  • Install metal fly screens or solid screens to any windows and doors outside your house.
  • Store any flammable items away from your house.
  • Make sure your hose is long enough to reach every part of your house.
  • Face any pressure relief valves on LPG cylinders away from the house so that any flames are not directed towards your home.
  • Make sure you have sufficient home and contents insurance.
  • Prepare yourself.

Information sourced from the NSW RFS Bush Fire Survival Plan.

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