Something that seems to concern buyers when they are considering moving to the country is the threat of bushfire. This is understandable given the tragedies that have occurred in Australia previously. The good news is that there are ways to help prevent the damage and prepare yourself and your family should it occur. We are lucky enough to have dedicated volunteer rural fire brigades in each of our areas, who all band together to save our communities and homes when bush fire does threaten us. They are an amazing crew who risk their lives to save ours, sometimes fighting for days on end in extreme heat and danger. The community is so lucky to have them. The RFS also has an aviation unit and contracts aircraft for fighting fires from the sky. Helicopters and planes water bomb areas, extinguishing or slowing down the flames before they get near homes.
Here are some tips that we have put together for you according to the Rural Fire Service (RFS):
Preparing your home for survival:
- Make yourself aware of whether you are in a bushfire prone area
- Clean your gutters regularly from sticks, leaves and debris
- Metal gutter guards, steel flyscreen on doors and windows are recommended
- Make sure you maintain any holes, gaps, missing roof tiles etc on your home to eliminate places for fire/embers to enter.
- Install a sprinkler system on your roof spaces and filling gutters
- Have quality hoses long enough to water down your entire home and shedding.
- Ensure gardens and surrounding trees are trimmed and maintained. Keep lawns short.
- Keep a separate water tank full, specifically for firefighting purposes
- Of course ensure you have home and contents insurance that covers loss from bushfire
Keep Your Family Safe:
- Always have a bushfire plan that you discuss and stick to if the need arises
- Watch the fire/wind rating/updates regularly if there are bushfires in your area
- Have a survival pack which you can quickly grab and take with you if you have to evacuate. Items recommended by the RFS to take are:
- battery operated radio, spare batteries, first aid kit, waterproof torch, candles with waterproof matches, woollen blankets, emergency contact numbers, waterproof bag, cash, credit cards, medications, toiletry items, mobile phone & charger, pocket knife, important docs & photographs, a change of clothing for each family member plus drinking water.
- Ensure your pets are in a safe place if you can. Have a little safety pack for any that you can take with you ie; cage, leash, medications, food, drinking water, toy.
- Identify a safe community place that you can evacuate to in the event of a bushfire
- Keep drinking loads of water to prevent dehydration.
- Wear clothing that will protect you as much as possible such as denim jeans, leather boots or shoes, a wide brimmed hat, glasses or goggles, gloves, a non-synthetic mask or cloth and a cotton or wool long sleeve shirt.
All in all bushfires are a part of an Australian Summer, something we all have to deal with from time to time, one way or another. Thankfully they don’t seem to occur frequently but being prepared and having a plan is the best bet you can make for survival. I have lived in the Stroud area all of my life and yes there have been bush fires over the years but they have always been controlled by our wonderful teams of Rural Fire Brigade Women & Men Volunteers.
Here is a link to download your FREE Bushfire Plan: CLICK HERE FOR A FREE BUSHFIRE PLAN
Check if you live in bushfire prone land:
I have sourced information from the Rural Fire Service website for this blog: www.rfs.nsw.gov.au
Denise Haynes and the R & R Property Team have offices located in both Stroud and Bulahdelah but cover a large area surrounding them, including Gloucester and Karuah. They are your Tree Change Specialists and love assisting others to make the move from city to country. The team are a combination of lifetime locals and tree changers so their vast experience and knowledge is your asset. You’ll find their free Real Estate advice on their Website, Podcasts and Facebook – “Hints and Tips”.
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