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How to prepare your home for bushfires
If you’re in an area prone to bushfires, it’s time to secure the fort and get your defences ready. Prep your home before and during bushfire season to minimise damage and keep the blaze away. Print your bushfire plan and let it guide you like a battle manual. And don’t forget to cover your home for this season’s unpredictabilities!
Regularly mow the lawn
Long grass may seem pretty innocent, but it’s a silent enemy in bushfire season. If a fire starts, long grass can help it spread around your property quickly. So, be safe and keep it trimmed.
Clean the gutters, drains and downpipes
Grass isn’t the only invisible enemy this bushfire season—suburban Australia is full of them. Dead leaves and twigs catch alight easily. Be sure to carefully clean your gutters, drains and downpipes to remove all those threats. If you’re not confident, don’t hesitate to draft a professional cleaner into your fire safety mission.
Keep a tidy backyard
Take a good look at your backyard and hunt for other potential fire hazards. A cluttered garden can catch fire more easily. Scan the area, clear up messes and move flammable items indoors. Think scraps of wood, newspapers, and leaves you keep forgetting to sweep.
Regularly check and update your fire safety equipment
Fire safety equipment is your first line of defense, so it needs to be fit and ready. Wipe the dust off the cover of your smoke alarm once a month. And once a year, test its battery by pressing and holding the test button until it beeps three times. Your trusty ally needs to be in tip top shape to sniff out a fire. If your alarm is more than 10 years old, it should be replaced.
Check your fire extinguisher too—it’ll be your main weapon in a fire. Familiarise yourself with its instruction label, and make sure its external metal parts are free from signs of damage like corrosions and dents. Confirm that the connection between its hose and cylinder is secure.
Check aircon ducts for proper insulation
Good airconditioning won’t prevent a fire, but it can help stop you from overheating during bushfire season. If your aircon isn’t cooling effectively, it may be worth hiring a professional to inspect it. Old faulty filters can make it harder for your aircon to fight the heat.
Install a metal fly screen
Plastic fly screens: they’re thin and light, and most of us have ‘em. But bushfire season calls for a metal upgrade. Metal fly screens may be the tough barrier your home needs to halt potential fire threats.
Have the correct size garden hose
Arm yourself with a garden hose long enough to reach the boundaries of your property. This way you’ll be able to extinguish a budding fire swiftly. And remember to water the garden often during bushfire season—dry grass is more likely to catch fire.
Prepare an emergency kit
Start building an accessible bushfire emergency kit. You’ll need:
- a torch with spare batteries,
- important documents,
- a battery-powered radio,
- extra clothes,
- a first aid kit.
Print your bushfire plan to ensure your emergency kit is up to date! Store it in an easy-to-reach spot and feel proud of your bushfire season readiness!
Know when to leave
Sometimes bushfire season throws you a rough one, and in those instances, it may be best not to stick around. Know when to raise your white flag and evacuate. Make a plan with your family about when you’ll leave, where you’ll go, and which route will get you there.
Monitor weather alerts
During bushfire season, it’s crucial to monitor weather warnings and take advice from authorities like the SES and your local CFA. They’ll provide well-informed advice for your next move.
AAMI has been the principal community partner of the VIC SES for more than 16 years. Through this partnership AAMI has helped equip 149 SES units across the state, and provided VIC SES with financial and in-kind support to educate the Victorian community about disaster resilience.
AAMI Home Building and Home Contents Insurance is issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 AFSL 230859 (AAI) trading as AAMI. The information is intended to be of a general nature only. We do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss incurred as a result of reliance upon it – please make your own enquiries.