September 9, 2020

2020 has been an interesting year to say the least, with fires ravaging the east coast, then floods and a global pandemic. We need now more than ever to prepare ourselves for what could potentially be, another trying Summer season. With August kicking off the official bushfire season, lets get prepared to create a safer place for our families, neighbours and communities. Here are a few of the top tips Allianz Insurance suggests for making houses bushfire prepared this season.

  • Clean leaves from gutters, roofs and downpipes regularly, and fit quality metal leaf guards.
  • Mow your grass regularly, both in the front and back yards.  Install fine steel wire mesh screens on all windows, doors, vents, and weepholes. 
  • Fit metal NOT plastic fly screens on windows and doors. 
  • Enclose open areas under your decks and floors. 
  • Seal all gaps in external roof and wall cladding. 
  • When installing LPG cylinders around your home, make sure that pressure relief valves face outwards so that flame is not directed towards the house. 
  • Keep your backyard tidy, free from any build up of flammable material.  Relocate any flammable items away from your home including woodpiles, paper, boxes, crates, hanging baskets and garden furniture. 
  • Remove excess ground fuels and other combustible material. 
  • Do not deposit tree lopping’s, grass clippings and other materials that could aid a fire on your property, or on council reserves or bushland. 
  • Ensure your garden hoses are long enough to reach the perimeter boundary of your property. 
  • Plant trees and shrubs that are less likely to ignite due to their lower oil content. 
  • Trim low lying branches two metres from the ground surrounding your home. 
  • If you have a swimming pool, have a Static Water Supply sign placed on your front fence. Contact your local fire station for information. 
  • Consider purchasing a portable pump to use from your swimming pool or water tank. 
  • On Total Fire Ban days obey regulations regarding barbecues and open fires. 
  • Ensure ALL members of the family know where the community evacuation area is. 
  • If there is a Community Fire Unit nearby, consider becoming a member. 
  • Make sure that if there is a fire hydrant outside your home it is easily located and not obstructed.

The Australian Standard for construction of homes in bushfire prone zones (AS 3959) simply states that openable windows must be screened with corrosion-resistant steel, bronze, or aluminium mesh with an opening of less than 2 mm x 2 mm. Consequently, Prowler Proof security screens with stainless steel or aluminium mesh can be used in most bushfire prone areas.