Are you bushfire ready?

 

This summer is set to be high risk for bushfires. Our 2017 Autumn weather was the driest it has been for 5 years. According to the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) and The Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, the dry weather has resulted in an increased fuel load (dry leaves, woody matter) across the state.

 

A common mistake many  homeowners make, is to think that they are immune to the threat of fire when in fact, they might not be. Many new estates are built on the outskirts of Perth and are in close proximity of natural bushland and open spaces making them just as vulnerable to our summer elements.

 

If you are in one of these risk areas, check out our tips below to make sure you, your family, your pets and your house is bushfire ready.

 

Preparing for bushfire season.

 

  1. Make a bushfire survival plan

    • Risks: Identify any potential fire risks around your home like gaps in roofing and structure, evaporative air conditioners, vents, chimneys etc

    • Repair: Make any repairs or modifications as soon as possible.

    • Equipment: Do you have hoses, rakes, shovels pumps, generators?

    • Survival Kit: Do you have a survival kit prepared?

    • Water Supply: If you’re in a rural area, do you have at least 20,000L of water available to help you fight fires?

    • Family Evacuation: What is your evacuation plan for your family? Who will leave the property? When will they leave the home? What vehicle are they using?

    • Family Staying to Actively Defend: Have you got enough protective clothing? What’s the plan for people who are not at the home when the fire starts (i.e. work school)?

    • Pets and livestock: How will you protect your pets and livestock?

 

  1. Prepare your property

    • Are your firebreaks ready (if required)?

    • Repair and maintain your house so that it is safe—Include wire screens and shutters and fill any gaps

    • Implement a 20-metre building protection zone

    • Implement  a suitable hazard separation zone

    • Your emergency water supply should be at least 20,000L (if you’re in a rural area)

    • Is your area safe according to your neighbours?

    • Talk to your neighbours about their fire safety plans

    • Prune all trees, including lower branches

    • Powerlines need to be clear of branches and other matter that may catch fire

    • Clear long grasses, branches, wood, shrubs from around the home

    • Fuels such as petrol, gas, anything flammable, should be stored in a suitable shed away from the home

    • Make sure all fire fighting safety equipment, including pumps and hoses are in order.

    • Share your emergency plan with friends and family.

    • Move all wood, including piles (for indoor heating) away from the house

    • All grass should be kept short in home area and also where livestock reside

    • Gutters and roof require cleaning and removal of debris

 

  1. Get your insurances in order

    • Have you got the right cover for your property?

    • Does your policy cover bushfires?

    • Are there any clauses that may affect your future claims?

 

 


 

PEB Property Group is a complete financial planning advisory service for Perth families. Offices are located in Inglewood and Willetton, Perth, Western Australia and offer - Financial Planning · Finance Broking · Property Management · Real Estate Sales · Property Investment · Development.

Disclaimer: Any advice contained in this article is of a general nature only and does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. Therefore, before making any decision, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice with regard to those matters. Information in this edition is correct as of the date of publication and is subject to change.