1. Plan and prepare

You may want to create a bushfire survival plan and discuss it with every member of the household, so each person knows exactly what to do in case of a fire.

Remember it’s worth regularly checking, testing and updating all fire safety equipment including smoke alarms.

For more information about bushfire preparation, see the NSW Rural Fire Service’s Bushfire Survival Plan.

2. Clear out your gutters

Embers and sparks can quickly set leaves alight – so it’s a good idea to clear your roof, gutters and downpipes of debris. For extra fireproofing, you could attach a sprinkler system to the gutters and install gutter guards which can help prevent leaves from gathering. 

3. Mind the gaps

The NSW Rural Fire Service suggests to check your roof for any damaged or missing tiles – and repair or cover gaps in your external walls to help reduce the chance of embers getting in.

4. Maintain your garden

Cutting back any trees or shrubs near buildings, and keeping your lawn well-maintained can help minimise the spread of fire. Check with your local council on the regulation on trees as it varies by state. Don’t forget to clean up fallen leaves, twigs and debris around the property.

5. Remove flammable items

If your veranda or deck has mats, outdoor furniture, wood piles or even flammable liquids such as petrol or chemicals, move them out of the way to reduce the chance of them catching alight as summarised by the Country Fire Authority.

6. Secure the perimeters

Consider replacing timber fences with metal that can better withstand the extreme heat of a fire and attaching fine metal mesh screens on the outside of windows and doors, see also Prepare your home by NSW Rural Fire Service. Check that your garden hose has a reliable source of water and is long enough to reach the entire perimeter of your property.

7. Check your insurance cover

Regularly reviewing your home and contents insurance can help ensure you have up to date and adequate level of protection.

It’s a good idea to know what your Bushfire Attack Level1 is for your property, as this could potentially increase the rebuild costs if you live in a bushfire risk area.

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1 https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/plan-and-prepare/building-in-a-bush-fire-area/building-after-bush-fire/your-level-of-risk

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