This year Australia is experiencing some of the worst bushfires conditions in its history. Now while you may have seen plenty about these fires on the news and social media, but are you ready for a fire if it makes it to your home?
Here at MIGAS safety is a top priority for us, and we want all our apprentices and trainees to be ready just in case a bushfire makes its way to them.
Here are 9 tips to aid you in case of a bushfire.
1. PREPARE A BUSHFIRE SURVIVAL PLAN
You should meet with your family, housemates, spouse or whatever your living arrangement and set out a plan of action in what to do in case of an emergency. Don’t just have one plan either, have a Plan B, C and D.
2. UNDERSTAND BUSHFIRE DANGER RATINGS
Ensure you are familiar with the meanings of the different Bushfire Alert Levels and Fire Danger Ratings. By having an understanding of these you will know when to act on your Bushfire Survival Plan.
3. IDENTIFY NEIGHBOURHOOD SAFER PLACES
A Neighbourhood Safer Places (NSP) is a local open space or building where people may gather as a last resort to seek shelter from a bushfire. These NSP’s should only be used if your Bushfire Survival Plan has failed. Consult your local fire authority for a list of NSP’s in your area.
4. CLEAN-UP OUTSIDE
Make sure that outdoor combustibles are kept to a minimum. Ensure that you remove dry foliage such as fallen leaves are cleared away, particularly from roofs and gutters. Trees overhanging buildings should be cut back and lawns should be cut short.
5. HELP FIREFIGHTERS WITH WATER SUPPLIESUNDERSTAND BUSHFIRE DANGER RATINGS
If you live on a property with a swimming pool, water tank or dam these could serve as a vital water supply for Firefighters. If you have a form of bulk water storage, display a static water supply (SWS) sign at the property entrance.
6. ENSURE BUILDING CODE REQUIREMENTS
Find out if your home is properly constructed for the level of bushfire risk in your area. The National Construction Code (NCC) reference AS 3959:2009 “Construction of Building in Bushfire-prone area” which will show you a detailed bush fire zone contraction requirement.
7. BE EMBER SAFE
Embers can travel for kilometres ahead of the fire front when they land they have the potential to cause house fires. Simple by installing compliant mesh screens over windows, doors and other openings can improve the resistance of a property to an ember attack.
8. LEAVE EARLY
The safest option in a bushfire is to leave early. Do not wait until it is too late, while it may be hard to leave your home and possessions behind, remember they can always be replaced, a life is irreplaceable and should be your top priority.
9. PREPARATION IS VITAL
By being prepared now when there is no danger, you can be ready to move when the time comes, increasing the chance of survival, and reducing the damage to property if possible.
We hope you find this information valuable and put it to good use and stay safe.
For more information about what to do in a bushfire, New South Wales Rural Fire Service has put together a great bush fire facts video playlist: