With summer weather comes heat and with heat comes the threat of fires. To be prepared, it’s critical to remove debris from gutters and other areas, which can fuel the blaze.
The Queensland Government has released these tips for properly preparing for bushfire season. The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) also provides a Bushfire Preparation Guide.
In this post, we’ve collected some bushfire season best practices for before, during and after fires.
If you’re in an area prone to bushfires, you can proactively prepare your property by taking these actions:
In the unfortunate event that fire begins to encroach on your property, these are things you can do:
If you make the decision to stay and defend your home, you should:
Once the fire has passed, and it’s safe to move about outside, you’ll need to continue to be vigilant. Carefully check for spot fires or embers, which could be in any space that was in proximity to the fire, such as under the house, along other structures, in exterior areas and along rooflines.
Stay at home until the surrounding area is clear of fire. Continue to drink lots of water and listen to local radio station for updates. Read more about preparing your home for bushfires.
Once everything is safe and the fire is no longer a threat, it’s time to clean up. You’ll need to take steps to minimise risk. Always wear appropriate protective equipment. Take care in or avoid touching material that could contain asbestos. One of the biggest threats post-fire is asbestos. If a fire impacts a structure with asbestos, dangerous fibres could be released. To best protect yourself and others, don’t walk through asbestos debris. You’ll need to notify others of the danger with some type of signage. You can also contact 13QGOV (13 74 68) for advice on how to remove asbestos safely.
It’s best to not spread ash around. It could consist of copper, arsenate (CCA) treated timber, chromium, asbestos or other hazardous materials. Keep all children and pets away from the ash. Try to keep debris wet so it doesn’t become airborne. Be cognizant of possible smouldering coals and ash, electrical hazards or gas cylinders that could be hidden under debris. Before cleaning the roof, disconnect rainwater tank pipes to prevent any entry of contaminated water.
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