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Prepare for High Bushfire Risks this Season
Structural recommendations for reducing your home’s risk of fire
Home services company HomeSource, joins in urging homeowners to prepare for the high bushfire risks expected for this season.
“The traditional bushfire season has only just started but already we have seen homes and businesses threatened by fire on the NSW Central Coast, Queensland’s Darling downs and Atherton Tablelands as well as Albany in Western Australia,” HomeSource Joint Managing Director, Pia Vogel, said.
The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting higher-than-
Fire bans are already being announced throughout the nation. Check with local fire authorities to see if your area is affected. Back burning is already underway.
“You only need to take a deep breath outside to smell the not-so-distant back burning. Back burning and fire bans are grand scale hazard reductions. There are steps all homeowners can take to reduce their home’s risk as well,” Ms Vogel said.
Ms Vogel and the HomeSource Team recommends these structural measures:
•Windows, vents and crevices – Ensure a spark-proof home by installing stainless steel or bronze flywire screens or fire resistant metal shutters on verandas, windows and doors. Enclose areas under decks and floors. Cover all wall cavities and screen vents in the roof space with a fine wire mesh.
•Property access – Ensure that gateways are at least 3 metres wide with clear access and a turnaround point for fire fighting vehicles.
•Smooth surfaces – Paint or refurbish dried exterior timber and repair nooks and crannies where leaves and debris can gather.
•Walls – Choose non-flammable wall materials such as brick, mud brick or fibre cement. Any gaps in the external roof and wall cladding need to be sealed.
•Decks –Large timber decks are particularly vulnerable to fire, with leaves accumulating on bearers beneath the timber slats. Safer options include decks without gaps, those made of fire-resistant timber or metal capped bearers.
•Roofing – Metal roofing is preferable. Tiled roofs need to be well fitted with fire-resistant sarking such as fibreglass-based aluminium foil.
•Skylights – Ensure to install wire-reinforced glass or a thermo plastic cover on skylights, as plastic can melt and glass can break in intense heat.
•Sprinkler system – A home bushfire sprinkler system that directs water over the roof, windows, doors and underfloor areas is one of the most effective ways to protect against radiant heat, direct flame and ember attack.
When considering making home alterations as above, it is always wise to consult professional advice and ensure the employ of credible tradespeople for the jobs. At HomeSource, we offer an advice service at low and affordable prices that could help to bush-fire proof your home safely. HomeSource Access provides over the phone lawyer or builder advice for homeowners as well as providing a database of pre-vetted tradespeople for jobs.
For more information about HomeSource visit www.homesource.com.au or call 1300 733 420.