Western Australia has seen some catastrophic bushfires in recent seasons. We manage a lot of properties in bushfire-prone areas (the Hills in particular) but even in newer estates close to scrubland, bushfires are a real threat.
As the hot weather is beginning, amid reports that this summer is going to be hotter and drier than ever, we thought we’d share some tips for getting your investment property ready.
1. Ensure your home has a 20 metre ‘circle of safety’ around it. This area needs to be clear of any debris, rubbish, long grass and other material that may catch fire.
2. If you have trees close to your property, prune branches that sit lower than 2 metres off the ground. This will prevent the spreading of a ground fire.
3. Ensure that your home has the appropriate firebreak for your location. This involves clearing all the vegetation from the boundary of your property. Most local councils have specific firebreak information on their websites.
4. Don’t store wood against or near your house.
5. Keep gutters free from leaves and bark.
6. Install metal flywire mesh to windows or vents. These will prevent sparks and embers from getting inside.
7. Block gaps in the roof or cladding, under eaves or skylights where embers may be able to enter the house.
8. Don’t store gas cylinders on the side of the house that faces bush land.
The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) have prepared this handy PDF checklist that provides more information on bushfire safety and preparedness.
Remember: the more prepared your property is, the better the chance it will survive a bushfire.