One of the greatest perils that Australia faces every year is bushfires. Not only does it cost millions of dollars in destruction, but it causes many losses of life. There are many things that can be done to reduce the risk and avoid such a devastating mishap.
Often, what happens during the bushfire is the embers tend to float through the air. As a result, they end up landing on many houses in the adjacent areas as well as in the gutters, or can even go through windows that have broken as a result of the heat.
Another volatile area for these embers is the debris that can end up piling up on the veranda or over door frames, as well as in any of the vegetation that may be close to the home. It has been noted that many homes can survive the main fire, but it is the destruction that follows in the next few hours that creates havoc.
It is critically important that homeowners know how to put out spot fires quickly. The best solution is prevention and being more aware and cautious during the fire season. There are some preventive measures that can be taken during this time.
An effort should be put into cleaning out all of the gutters and any of the fittings above the roof. Leaves and debris should be collected and disposed of. Keep the wood pile a safe distance away from your home, and make sure that any trees near the house have been well pruned, so that there are not any overhanging branches on the house.
Keeping the grass short and maintained and well-manicured will also help. Every homeowner should have at least one good length of garden hose that will reach the entire perimeter of the property. Refrain from storing newspapers and cardboard, as well as flammable liquids and paints, near the house.
For the LPG gas bottles, ensure that the valve is not facing the house. Check your insurance policy to make sure that it is going to provide adequate coverage for your property as well as the contents of your home in the event of bushfire damage. For those who rent, be sure you talk to your landlord as to what precautions have been taken in the event of a bushfire.
For you and your family make sure that you have a well-planned evacuation plan created and that every member is aware of it. Should you be exposed to a bushfire do not use your swimming pool as a means of protection. Ideally you want to keep your pool filled at all times as it could be a good water source.
If you have been told to evacuate the area do so and in the event of a bushfire make sure that you are prepared to evacuate at any time. You may want to consider buying a portable pump that you could use to access water from your swimming pool or water tank.
Your pets are at a high risk during a bushfire because of the fire itself and because of the high temperatures that come with it. Watch them for signs of heat stroke. Make sure that you have plenty of water and shade available for them and wet towels to sponge them down with should they become overheated. On days where the heat is extreme, you may want to take your pets with you if you have to leave home.
If you live in a bushfire area, you may want to consider having special safety windows installed in your home. Make sure that your smoke alarms are up-to-date and in working order and in every location they should be within your home. It may not be wise to use the deadlocks on your doors during a bushfire as first responders will not be able to get to you should the need be.
Be careful with your appliances as well, so that you don’t overload them. Make sure they are turned off. Make sure that any open flames, such as candles, within the home are extinguished. Be extra cautious with people who are vulnerable, such as children and the elderly. Check your kitchen for all potential fire hazards.