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Preparing your home for bushfire season

13 December 2021
• 3 minutes read
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While COVID-19 may have dominated our lives, the devastation of the 2019/2020 bushfires will be forever etched upon the landscape and the soul of the nation. Sadly, uncontrollable bushfires tore through more than 12.6 million hectares of native bushland and rural properties, killing billions of animals, as well as destroying thousands of homes.

Not surprisingly, around 57 per cent of our population were also exposed to smoke from the bushfires. It was a deadly reminder of the dangers many face during the Australia summer.

With another summer upon us, it’s an important time to plan and prepare your property for bushfire season. Here are some tips on how you can prepare your home for bushfires, collated from leading fire and rescue agenciesacross Australia:

Preparing your home 1

  • Regularly clear leaves from your gutters, roof and downpipes – fitting metal leaf guards will help.
  • Keep your backyard tidy and place any flammable material like wood, paper, boxes and garden furniture away from buildings.
  • Install steel mesh screens on windows, doors and vents.
  • Enclose open areas under decking/flooring.  Also seal any gaps in the roof and wall cladding to prevent embers getting inside.

Preparing your garden 1

  • Keep your lawn mowed and overhanging branches trimmed well away from your home.
  • Dump any green waste like chopped tree branches, leaves or grass clippings at your local council’s refuse collection centre. Don’t keep anything that could fuel a fire on your property, or dump waste on council reserves or bushland.
  • If possible, plant trees and shrubs that are less likely to ignite due to their lower oil content.
Home and Contents Insurance

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Managing onsite water 1

  • Check that your garden hoses are long enough to reach the boundaries of your property.
  • If you have a swimming pool, have a Static Water Supply sign placed on your front fence. Contact your local fire station for information.
  • Consider purchasing a portable pump to use your swimming pool or water tank water.

Follow advice 1

  • On Total Fire Ban days, listen for the latest weather warnings and follow the regulations regarding barbecues and open fires.
  • Make sure everyone in your household knows your bushfire plan and the location of the designated community evacuation area.
  • Check with your local fire authority if there’s any special advice for your location.

In an emergency call 000. For more tips and information, contact your local fire station or state’s fire authorities.

ACT

New South Wales

Northern Territory

Queensland

South Australia

Tasmania

Victoria

Western Australia

You can follow the tips shown (or search for a more regionally specific one that is relevant to your area) to make sure you’re doing everything you need to give yourself, your family and your home the best chance in the event of a bushfire.

Review your insurance

One last tip is to check your home and contents insurance policy to ensure what is and may not be covered. You may also want to make sure that you’re adequately insured. It’s vital to see whether the value of your home and its contents are accurately reflected in your policy – especially if you want to replace things like for like if things are lost to fire.

Important Information

Source article: 1 NSW Rural Fire services recommendations

This article has been prepared by Great Southern Bank, a business name of Credit Union Australia Ltd ABN 44 087 650 959 AFSL 238317. In some cases, information has been provided to us by third parties and while that information is believed to be accurate and reliable, its accuracy is not guaranteed in any way. Any opinions expressed constitute our views at the time of issue and are subject to change. Neither Great Southern Bank, nor its employees or directors give any warranty of accuracy or accept responsibility for any loss or liability incurred by you in respect of any error, omission or misrepresentation in this article.Great Southern Bank does not provide any advice based on any consideration of your objectives, financial situation or needs.

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