Australia can be a harsh country with major environmental challenges like cyclones, flash floods and droughts, but none of these disasters quite captures the Australian conscious like bushfires do. Earlier this year dozens of houses were destroyed by an out of control bushfire. And no one will forget the 173 lives lost in 2009 to the Black Saturday bushfires. With so many examples of major disaster, it is shocking that many Australians still have not taken any precautions to prevent bushfires, so here are three very simple steps you can take to drastically reduce your chances of being a victim of bushfires.
This may seem absurd but in reality clogged gutters are something that a rampaging fire will use to catch hold of your house. Australians are blessed with many beautiful, big natural trees across the whole country, even in the major cities, but these tall trees often lead to a build up of leaves in your roof's gutters. In the event of a bushfire these leaves turn into a tinder box, as dried leaves are extremely flammable.
If you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Unless the fire is directly at your house's door, how would it catch fire? There are not many flammable parts on the outside of your house. In contrast to this, overflowing gutters can be ignited with just a spark carried from hundreds of metres away.
Consider calling up your local hardware store or specialist retailer and get leaf guards installed. You also get the added benefit of no more rainwater build up due to clogged leaves so it is a win-win. Every Australian should have leaf guards in their gutters as a fire prevention method.
Get Long Hoses
Another thing you wouldn't really think about before you need it, long hoses are essential to keep your whole house wet in the event of a fire. Normal garden hoses are probably not going to be long enough and you should check whether this is the case or not. Having a hose that can reach the entirety of your property is a must.
You should also have a nozzle that has different settings for the power of water released; having a hose with only dripping water power will make it impossible to reach high up on your house.
Seal Your House
This does not mean to keep your house completely sealed from the outside at all time but rather just means that you can seal your house up if you need to. Check all your windows and doors for gaps and breaks and go outside and look over your entire facade. Check that you are not missing any roof tiles and that, if your house is raised, the raised areas are sealed off too.
Remember, it is extremely hard for your house to simply catch on fire unless the bushfire is right on top of it. If there are little cracks that small sparks can get into and access your much more flammable carpets and sheets and clothes, then you will have a problem. In the event of a bushfire, if your house is on the frontline, you will likely have firefighters right there with you to doing their best to keep the bushfire at bay, and with your house totally sealed you drastically reduce your chances of your house catching fire.