PREPARE. ACT. SURVIVE.
Preparing yourself, your family and your home is your responsibility. The more you prepare your home the better the chance it will survive a fire, even if you are not there. The majority of houses can survive most bushfires with planning and effort. A well prepared home will give you more protection if a fire threatens suddenly and you cannot leave. During a major bushfire, firefighters will be working to stop the fire. A fire truck and water bombing by aircraft cannot be guaranteed to defend your home during a bushfire. Bushfires can start suddenly and without time for firefighters to issue a warning. Make a plan for what you will do if a bushfire occurs and practise it regularly with your family. Having a plan could be the difference in saving you and your loved ones lives. It is your responsibility to reduce the risks and take actions to protect your home and your family to survive the bushfire. What will you and your family do to be safe? You need to make a commitment to develop a bushfire survival plan that details preparations and actions you will take if a bushfire threatens.
REDUCING FUEL AROUND YOUR HOME
Reducing vegetation, rubbish and anything that can burn from around your home will increase its chances of surviving a bushfire. A building protection zone (BPZ) is an area extending for at least 20 metres around a building on all sides where there is little or nothing to burn. In suburban areas this may mean that your whole block will be part of your BPZ. Embers may still enter the home from the air, but taking steps to reduce fuel from around your home will increase its chances of survival. For at least 20 metres around your home and other buildings: Cut long grass and dense scrub. Remove dead material. Remove all rubbish and rake up leaf litter, twigs, bark and material that may catch fire. Maintain a minimum two metre gap between your house and tree branches. Make sure that no trees overhang the house. Prune lower branches (up to two metres off the ground) to stop a fire on the ground spreading to the canopy of the trees.
HOW BUSHFIRES BEHAVE
It is important you understand how bushfires behave to help you protect your family and home against them. All fires need fuel, air and heat.
Vegetation around your home like dry grass, leaves, twigs and bark provide fuel for a fire. This fuel plays a part in how hot a fire can be and how fast it can spread. If fuel is removed, the fire will starve.
Bushfires generate unbelievable heat. Much of this heat goes up into the air but significant heat also radiates at ground level. This radiant heat spreads the fire by drying out vegetation so it will burn.
Radiant heat is the main cause of people dying in a bushfire. Radiant heat may not set fire to your home but it can crack and break windows that will allow embers in. The best protection from radiant heat is distance.
Even if the fire front does not reach your home it can still be damaged by burning embers carried by strong winds. Embers can get into your home through gaps in roofs, walls, evaporative air conditioners, windows and doors. They can land on materials that easily burn and this can start a fire. Research has shown that ember attack is the main reason that houses catch fire during a bushfire. Embers can continue to threaten your home even after the fire front has passed.
DIRECT FLAME CONTACT
When materials close to your home catch fire flames can touch the outside of your home. How long flames are in direct contact with your home depends on the amount of fuel to be burnt.
A bushfire needs air to keep going and the more there is the faster the fire burns. Strong winds not only force the fire along but also increase air circulation and provide more air. Any change in wind direction or speed can rapidly increase the rate of spread and the direction of the fire. The prevailing afternoon breeze in summer presents the most common threat as it fans bushfires when fuel is at its driest during the day.
Strong winds usually come with bushfires and as the wind increases so does the fires temperature. The wind pushes flames closer to fuel making the fire travel faster. Embers and other burning materials are also carried by the wind which can damage homes kilometres from the fire front.
All of the above is great advice in the preparation of your property to reduce incidence from Bush Fires.
It’s time to get ready for summer.
Steve can help you with your bulk rubbish removal and ready your property for the Bushfire season.
Whether you are in suburbia or on acreage we can remove your rubbish by bag or by bulk collection.
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