Briggs & Stratton, who produces an extensive range of outdoor power equipment, has some key tips to help prepare your property and reduce any fire hazards.
1. Assess your property and identify any potential fire hazards
If your home is located near a bushland area then the risk is heightened. Identify any wood piles or timber, unpruned trees and long grass.
Clear away fine fuel that may help a fire along. This includes leaves, twigs and smaller plant debris that may be found all over your property. Focus particularly on fine fuel found close to your home. Clean leaves and other plant matter out of your gutters.
2. Keep the lawn short and maintain trees and hedges
This will make it easier to defend your property from a bushfire. Remove any weeds and grass growing up against the house or around garden edges.
3. Cut back trees overhanging the house
To help reduce the risk of fire spreading, prune the lower branches of trees, while covering woodpiles and moving them away from the house.
4. Equipment checks and maintenance
Now is also an opportune time to check that your generators, water pumps and piping systems are all in working order. This will ensure that in the case of an emergency you are ready to protect your property.
5. Seal all gaps in your roof, walls and under the house
This will help prevent embers from entering roof spaces or underneath your home and starting a blaze that you cannot see. It is also a good idea to check that a fire truck would be able to access your property if need be.
6. Have an emergency bushfire plan
The most important thing is to make a bushfire plan and share it with family members and neighbours to ensure your safety. This plan should include whether you will evacuate or stay to defend your home, and what you will need for each scenario. You should also consider what to do with any pets or animals on your property.
For more great home tips and advice, check out our DIY section.