Preparation key to safety

Ensuring your property is well-equipped with reliable firefighting equipment is essential. Photo courtesy of CFS.
Ensuring your property is well-equipped with reliable firefighting equipment is essential. Photo courtesy of CFS.

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The risks are very real, so it pays to be prepared for bushfire season.

SA Country Fire Service (CFS) Director of Preparedness Operations Brett Loughlin said now was the time to take action and not be complacent.

"There are simple steps that anyone in a bushfire risk area can take to help keep themselves, their family and pets safe this summer," he said.

These include:

  • Clear a 20m space around your home
  • Clean gutters out
  • Cut back overhanging branches
  • Move flammable items away from your home, for example, woodpiles, old boxes or outdoor furniture
  • Sit down with a cup of tea and do a "5 Minute Bushfire Plan" off the CFS website

There are simple steps that anyone in a bushfire risk area can take to help keep themselves, their family and pets safe this summer,

CFS Director of Preparedness Operations, Brett Loughlin

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"If you think about how a fire travels, you can start to see how it will impact your house," Brett explained.

"Fire can travel along the ground, but also through the air in the form of embers."

Here are some options which could reduce the impact fire has on your home.

  • Block gaps around or under your house. Ensure doorways, ducts, air conditioning vents or windows don't allow sparks and embers to blow in and take hold
  • Install a sprinkler system to wet down the vegetation and your home to reduce the impact of radiant heat, sparks and embers (fittings should be metal, as plastic melts)
  • Ensure access to an independent water supply such as a tank, dam or swimming pool of at least 5000L. Do not rely on mains water being available during a fire
  • Install a petrol/diesel-driven water pump.
  • Ensure hoses are long enough to reach around your home
  • Use a stone wall, earth barrier, or fence close to your home as a radiant heat shield
  • Plant lower-flammability vegetation, including plants and trees with high water and salt content
  • A well-managed vegetable garden can act as an excellent fuel break
  • Plant trees and shrubs with space between them so they do not form a continuous canopy