Bushfires are the cause of millions of damage and lives lost every year in Australia. They are often unpreventable, so it’s important you understand if you’re at risk and how to minimise that risk. Many houses are destroyed from embers floating through the air and landing in gutters or through windows that have been smashed from the heat, before or after the main fire front. Fires can also start from burning debris, piled up on verandas or in door frames. Often, houses are destroyed in the hours after the main fire. But if you are well prepared to put out small spot fires, then you will have more chance of saving your home.

PLAN AHEAD
It is ideal to take preventative measures before the season hits, however it’s never too late to protect you and your property. Here are some tips; 

• Clean out gutters and other roof fittings – they are extremely flammable when full of leaves and debris
• If you have a woodpile, it should be well away from the house, as it is an excellent fuel source
• Prune any trees close to the house
• Keep your grass short and rake up leaves
• Ensure you have a garden hose that will reach the perimeter of your property
• Regularly recycle newspapers and cardboard. Keep any piles of recycling material away from the house.
• Flammable liquids and paint should also be well away from the house
• Ensure all LPG gas bottles have the valve facing away from the house
• Your insurance should be up to date, and needs to cover your property & contents for fire damage
• Create a manageable evacuation plan and share it with the people closest to you

OTHER IMPORTANT TIPS

Should a fire come…

• Don’t shelter in your swimming pool. Your head and other exposed body parts could be damaged from the radiant heat
• Don’t empty the pool as fire brigades may need to use it as a water source
• Obey orders from fire authorities at all times
• Have family/friends, treasured possessions and pets on hand, so evacuation is fast
• Consider buying a portable pump to use water from your swimming pool or water tank

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