Bushfires and Protecting Your Home.

Australia has a long history of bushfires. We have the right conditions here for fire – wet enough for vegetation to grow, and dry enough for it to burn. While there are some aspects of a fire that can’t be controlled, such as the weather, there are some steps to take to ensure your home has the best chance possible of surviving a bushfire.

Ember attacks pose a great risk when bushfires are near. Burning twigs, leaves and other debris carried by the wind can easily land on your home or property.

Roofing

Gaps or holes in the roof provide an opportunity for embers to penetrate the home and start a fire. The best defence is to replace missing tiles and seal any gaps. If you’re building a new home, or simply re-roofing, choose roofing materials that are non-combustible, such as metal roofing or concrete tiles. These provide much better protection against fires. Gutter cleaning is also crucial to ward off the risk of fire. Embers can easily ignite any dry leaves and sticks that are in your gutters.

Bushfire - Jims Group

Bushfire - Jims Group

Windows and Doors

Embers can also penetrate your home through windows and doors. Seal any gaps around your windows and doors with a fire-retardant sealant. Install metal shutters, this acts as a shield from flying embers. The same with your door, install a metal screen in front of your wooden door. It is also recommended to add some draft stripping under the doors. This will help prevent smoke seeping into the house if a bushfire is near.

Rubbish Removal

Keep your backyard tidy. Typically, a fire requires three elements to burn. These elements are heat, fuel and oxygen. Removing one of these would prevent or extinguish a fire. Check your backyard for possible fuel sources and remove them. Dispose of rubbish such as old or unused gas cylinders, aerosol cans, paint thinners, brake fluid and other automotive products. Make sure to remove any piles of tree clippings and garden waste as well.

Bushfire - Jims Group

Bushfire - Jims Group

Gardens

Mow long grass and keep lawns green and hydrated. Gardens beds should also be kept moist and well-maintained. Rake up leaves, especially eucalyptus or melaleuca leaves, as these are highly flammable. When deciding on a mulch for garden beds, choose one that is less likely to catch fire, such as rocks or gravel. If you really must have a traditional mulch, chunky hardwood mulches are more flame resistant. Try to steer clear of straw or shredded cedar mulches.

Trees

All plants and trees burn in the right conditions. However, to reduce the risk it’s best to plant shrubs and trees with low flammability characteristics. The right kind of tall trees can be planted as a wind break or buffer zone between potential bushfire areas and your home. To ensure optimal protection against fire, it’s important that these trees remain healthy with regular pruning.

Bushfire - Jims Group

To see how Jim’s can help protect your home against bushfire, click here to see our full list of services, or phone 131 546.