According to ABC News bushfire season is going to be longer this year than usual. The article says that the Deputy Commissioner of Queensland Fire and Emergency Services stated it’s already started and notes the bushfire that occurred on Bribie Island. They are encouraging communities to prepare and help reduce the potential damage of a fire.

Preparing your home for bushfire season means making sure your home has higher chance of making it through the fire as well as preventing fueling the fire as much as possible. This includes:

  • Make sure your yard is clean.
    • Clear flammable debris from your yard and roof and gutters.
    • This includes moving flammable items away from your home (i.e. woodpiles, boxes, etc.)
    • Trim low branches of trees around your home.
    • Reduce vegetation loads along the access path.
    • Mow your grass regularly.
    • Remove excess ground fuels and combustible material (long dry grass, dead leaves and branches).
  • Purchase and test the effectiveness of gutter plugs.
  • Seal all gaps in external roof and wall cladding.
  • Enclose open areas under decks and floors.
  • Install fine steel wire mesh screens on all windows, doors, vents and weep holes.
  • Point LPG cylinder relief valves away from the house.
  • Conduct maintenance checks on pumps, generators and water systems.
  • Make sure your property is accessible to the fire department.

In case of a fire, you will want to make sure your house/lot number is prominent and visible so people know where to send help and help can find you.

For your own safety, make sure you have PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) including fire resistant clothing and a fire extinguisher. Make sure your first aid kit is fully stocked and double check your insurance for your home and vehicles. Make sure you have an emergency plan that details what you’re going to do in case of an emergency and make sure all family members know what it is. Your neighbourhood may also have a “Neighbourhood Safer Place” which is a “local open space or building where people may gather…to seek shelter from a bushfire.” You should definitely find out if your neighbourhood has one just in case your Bushfire Survival Plan falls through.

So it’s probably going to get really hot this year and expect several bushfires to occur. Therefore, make sure you and your family are prepared in case a bushfire threatens your neighbourhood.

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