You have probably heard about the devastating bush fires in Victoria Australian, and if you are one of those lucky people who lives close to nature – either bushland or woodland – you’re probably a little more concerned about the bushfire threat to your home and family, though probably the biggest threat to your family and your home is being unprepared. Too many people have perished trying to defend their home and property fighting a bushfire they were totally ‘unprepared’ for, in fact the best time to fight a bushfire is when there is no bushfire around because ninety percent of protecting your home, property and family from the dangers of bush fires is preparation.

Unfortunately many people become complacent if they have never experienced a serious bushfire in their area, or it has been a long time since any serious bushfire has taken place close to their home. But obviously bush fires are random and indiscriminate and they certainly have no schedule or agenda, despite this bush fires will thrive and proliferate into insatiable beasts given the perfect environment. Its obvious then to survey analyze the immediate environment which you live.

Probably the major factor in determining the risk in your area is the density of fuel (wood, brush, leaves) in your area. It goes without saying that if you live within a densely fueled area, your ongoing bushfire preparations will be far more involved and comprehensive than someone living in a sparsely or lightly fueled area.

‘If uncertain about adequate preparation requirements, you should contact your local fire authorities for advice’.

After evaluating your requirements, it’s a good idea to prepare for a Bushfire Preparation Plan.

Some activities to include in a plan:

Controlled burning: properly managed use of fire can increase fire protection though always contact your local fire authority for permits and advice

Fuel Breaks: building a fuel break or an extended area between your home and the natural bushland and vegetation. This can be done by clearing trees, shrubbery, brush and leaves around your home.

Remove fuel: remove or dispose of any fuel which is near the home, this includes stores of firewood and flammable liquids, clearing gutters, removing and disposing of refuge. If possible remove gas cylinders away from house.

Installation of sprinklers: irrigation specifically designed for defending against bush fires is an excellent investment

Installation of water tanks and pumps: It’s always a good idea to have access to multiple sources of water in the event of a bushfire. As well as mains water, having available water tanks and even a dam both with pump access is invaluable. Also have an adequate number of hoses at predetermined positions around your home, all four corners of the house. (have hoses connected)

Fire fighting Kit: Long sleeved shirt and trousers (cotton work wear), leather gloves, broad brimmed hat, goggles/safety glasses, safety boot or sturdy footwear, woolen or cotton socks, drink bottles, buckets, water containers, portable radio and first aid kits and torch.

Keep up to date: stay close to the radio and heed any CFA warnings and announcements

Seal wall and floor cavities: seal wall and floor cavities with mesh, fire resistant mesh is available at many hardware stores

Without doubt the biggest decision to be made when faced with the threat of a bushfire is whether to stay and ensure your property is protected, or decide that the risk is too great to your family and evacuate. For anyone asking themselves this question they only have to know if they are prepared. Many people have let emotion take over when confronted with this choice, chose to stay and fight despite being totally unprepared and paid dearly for the mistake. fire fighting spray nozzle

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