While we’re not quite in the middle of spring yet, summer will be here before we know it and with it, bushfire season. In WA we experience long dry summers and soaring temperatures, a combination that makes our state very susceptible to the threat of bushfire.
As bushfires can be unpredictable in that they can flare up suddenly and without warning, it’s vital to prepare now before the mercury rises.
The Department of Fire & Emergency Services (DFES) says it’s vital for all homeowners, landlords and tenants to take action now to ensure their property and all family members are prepared.
DFES recommends the following to protect both your property and your family.
Steps to prepare your property
• Take a walk around the perimeter of your property and your home, imagining that a bushfire is heading towards you. Look for items that would be quick to burn and also places where embers could start a fire in your home such as gaps in the roof and walls, evaporative air conditioners and gutters and downpipes.
• Install mesh over your evaporative air-conditioners and metal fly screens on windows and vents to prevent sparks and embers from entering the home.
• Create a 20m circle of safety around your home – this means clearing any overgrown vegetation and rubbish from around all buildings on your property (to a circumference of around 20m).
• Store any firewood well away from your home.
• Check any gas bottles on the property and ensure they are secured and positioned in such a way that they will vent away from the building.
Click on the link for a detailed checklist.
Steps to prepare and protect your family
Spring is also the time to sit down with the family or any housemates to discuss a fire evacuation plan.
DFES also recommends that people prepare a Bushfire Emergency Risk Kit, especially if they live in high risk areas (within 100m of the bush).
The kit should include:
• A radio,
• A torch,
• Spare batteries,
• A first aid kit,
• A woollen blanket,
• Water, and
• Non-perishable food.
For more information visit the DFES website.