Even though bushfires are a fact of life for most parts of Australia, preparing for them is something that still isn’t as commonplace as it should be. Living in bushfire-prone areas means you have a duty to keep your home and your family as safe as possible, and planning and preparation are key to reducing the risks of damage and loss of life.

Don’t wait until a bushfire is nearby; start your preparation now.

What to do before bushfire season

The NSW Fire and Rescue organisation urges homeowners to:

●Regularly clear roofs, downpipes and gutters of leaves
●Regularly mow your front and back yard
●Put steel mesh screens with fine wire on every door, window, peephole and vent
●Place metal fly screens on doors and windows – do not use plastic
●If possible, close-in any areas under your floor and deck
●Plug any gaps in external wall and roof cladding
●Tidy your backyard of any built-up flammable material, such as leaves
●Move flammable items like outdoor furniture, boxes, woodpiles, etc. away from your house
●Correctly deposit grass clippings, tree loppings, etc. so that they don’t pose a fire risk
●Make sure you can reach your property’s boundary with your garden hose
●Obey all instructions during Total Fire Ban days
●Have a plan for what your family will do during a bushfire
●Consider placing valuables in short-term storage
●Make sure that every family member knows where to evacuate to in the community if you need to leave your home.

What to do during a bushfire

You have to prepare yourself and your family for a bushfire, not just your home. Preparing yourselves mentally and physically is just as important, as bushfires are intense and exhausting. The darkness, smoke, and loud noises can be hard to cope with for even the strongest individuals.

If you don’t evacuate in time, or plan to stay and defend your property (which you should only do if you’re aware of the consequences), here is what the NSW Fire and Rescue agency suggests:

●Remain calm at all times
●Ring 000 and report any fires
●If safe to do so, check on your elderly neighbours
●Until the fire gets too close, put out spot fires or embers around the exterior of your home
●Close up all shutters, doors and windows
●Fill gutters with water and block your downpipes if possible
●Use wet towels or blankets to cover gaps underneath doors
●Collect plenty of water in your bathtub, and in buckets
●Don’t leave your garden house outside or it may melt; bring it in so that you can use it if needed
●Have torches, a battery operated radio and spare batteries on hand if the power goes out
●Keep yourself and your family hydrated; keep plenty of water on hand for emergencies.

Short-term storage to keep your belongings safe

If you have nowhere in your home to store valuable items like important documents, antiques, heirlooms or artwork to keep them out of harm’s way during a bushfire, then a storage unit is a great idea. Check with local storage businesses in the area to see if they offer short-term fireproof storage.

Need help transporting your precious items before and after bushfire season? Call us.

Removalists On the Run can help you move your items to and from storage, taking them door to door for your convenience.

We’re reliable, friendly, and offer competitive rates on our moving services. Get in touch today for a quote.

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