If your home or business property is located in a bushfire risk area, it's important to know how to prepare for bushfire season. Don't wait until an emergency to take action – now is the perfect time to get your home or business ready for bushfire season.
Knowing how to prepare for a bushfire can save lives.
Making sure you are prepared for the fire season can help save lives and protect your valuable assets. Follow the five steps below and be sure to seek professional advice so that you are prepared this season.
1. Understand the level of bushfire risk for your property
Bushfires happen every summer in Australia, and different areas are more at risk than others. It's important to understand which fire district your property is located in and the level of fire risk so that you can put the right protective measures in place and create an appropriate contingency plan.
If your property is close to grasslands, bush or coastal scrub it will be at higher risk. Check your local Community Information Guide and Emergency Management Plans for specific information for your location.
Knowing which fire district you are located in will help you better monitor the fire danger ratings and warnings for your area. It's important to seek expert advice before the bushfire season starts about at which fire rating you should evacuate your property.
2. Create a written bushfire survival plan
Having a written bushfire plan will help you make decisions more quickly and confidently during an emergency.
Facing the threat of a bushfire can be a highly stressful experience, and having written procedures in place can help you act with more focus. Knowing that you have a plan in place may help reduce anxiety during bushfire season.
For businesses, a fire plan will help minimize damage to your property, protect your employees and clients and make it easier to get back to business faster. It can also play an important role in ensuring your business remains compliant with all relevant regulations.
You should familiarise your staff and clients with the bushfire plan each fire season to help reduce the anxiety and uncertainty that people may feel.
Tips for looking after your people emotionally during bushfire season include:
Involving as many people as possible in the creation of your bushfire plan
Being aware of people's personal needs when creating the plan
Practicing the bushfire survival plan so that people know what to do
3. Ensure your property is compliant with Australian regulations
Australian buildings in fire-prone zones must meet strict design and construction standards as outlined in the Building Code of Australia.
Buildings are assessed and given a Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) which indicates how severe a building's potential exposure to embers, radiant heat, and flames.
BAL ratings range from BAL Low (low risk with no specific fire protection construction requirements) to BAL Flame Zone (the most extreme exposure to fire elements and the highest level of protection needed).
It is important to regularly inspect and maintain your property to ensure it remains compliant with the relevant Australian Standards and BAL ratings. There are heavy penalties for non-compliance.
Most insurance companies require regular maintenance as part of their conditions. Testing and servicing for systems such as fire doors is usually required every 3 months, with inspections on a yearly basis.
Australia Fire Control's fully qualified technicians can assist with compliance audits for fire door systems at your premises.
4. Invest in appropriate passive fire control measures
The doors and windows of a building are usually the most vulnerable points and should be appropriately protected for fire emergencies.
Passive fire control describes protective systems that are always working and do not need to be activated in a fire. Active fire control systems, such as sprinklers and alarms, are activated in the presence of heat, flames, or smoke.
Buildings in fire-prone areas should be equipped with the appropriate level of both active and passive fire protection systems.
If you need assistance with ensuring your property has adequate fire protection systems in place, Australia Fire Control can help. We specialize in high-performing passive fire control systems for buildings in fire zones.
Our products include:
5. Prepare your property
A prepared home or business property has a better chance of protecting people and keeping valuable assets safe.
When preparing your property for the fire season, make sure you:
Keep grass surrounding your premises cut below 10cm
Clean leaves and dead branches from your property, including in the gutters
Prune lower branches of trees and shrubs
Do not store wood or other flammable items near the building
Use stones or pebbles instead of flammable mulch
Make sure fire trucks and other emergency services can easily access your property
Other important steps you should take:
Prepare and maintain an emergency kit with important documents and essential items
Prepare protective clothing
Ensure you have adequate insurance coverage
Consider putting aside money as an emergency fund
Bushfire preparation with Australian Fire Control
If your home or business is located in a bushfire-prone area, it's essential that you know how to prepare for a bushfire. Being prepared can help save lives and protect your assets.
Australian Fire Control supplies a wide range of passive fire protection systems to help keep your people and property safe in an emergency. We also offer compliance auditing services to make sure you stay compliant with Australian Standards.
For more information, get in touch with our friendly team today.