Be bushfire ready
"Prepare, act, survive" is the national slogan for readying your home for the bushfire season. The key to being prepared is to understand the level of bushfire risk you and your property are exposed to and the ways you can reduce this risk. Having a plan and preparing your property to deal with the threat of bushfire can keep you and your family safe. The most important decision is whether you and your family will leave early or stay and defend your well-prepared home. Some of the things you should do include:
- Protect the lives of you and your family members. Having a Bush Fire Survival Plan (2.7MB PDF) in place gives you, your family, your home and property the best chance of survival.
- If you have a mobile phone, download a mobile phone app showing where fires are. Your state or territory fire services may have one available.
- Check and/or change the battery on your smoke alarms.
- Cut back any overhanging trees or shrubs and dispose of cuttings appropriately.
- Check the condition of your roof and replace any damaged or missing roofing material.
- Clean leaves from the roof, gutters and downpipes and fit quality metal leaf guards.
- If you have a water tank, dam or swimming pool, consider installing a Static Water Supply (SWS) sign.
- Store wood piles well away from the house and keep covered.
- Keep garden mulch away from the house.
- Keep grass short.
- Ensure you have a hose which is long enough to reach every part of the home.
- Remove and store any flammable items away from the house.
- Check the condition of external walls, cladding, windows and seal any gaps.
There is more advice and assistance available online from your state or territory fire services in the ACT, NSW, NT, QLD, SA , TAS, VIC, and WA. These include tips for reducing fire risks in your area, and tools such as mobile phone apps that:
Keep in mind that peak fire season varies depending on where you live in Australia. Check with the Bureau of Meteorology to find out when the fire risk is highest in your area so you can be well prepared.
If you live in a cyclone or flood-prone area, there are things you can do around the home to prepare. The Australian Government Attorney-General's Department is the key online access point for emergency management information from the Australian Government.