Bushfire Safety Tips for Every Aussie

Bushfire Safety Tips for Every Aussie

Australia is well-known for being a bushfire country, but after the devastation of the record-breaking bushfire at the beginning of 2020 which killed at least 33 people, destroyed 11 million hectares of land and killed countless animals, we want to do all we can to raise awareness on preventing fires and staying safe.

Preparing Your Home

If you live in an area where bushfires are considered a risk, then you can do a lot to prepare your home for the summer season.

  • Keep your gutters and downpipes clear of leaves
  • Fit gutters and downpipes with metal leaf guards
  • Clear your backyard of flammable materials, including dead trees and shrubs, and trim away all tree branches below 2 m from the ground
  • Keep woodpiles and other collections of flammable materials clear of your home
  • Mow your grass each week to keep it short and create a fire break around your home
  • Enclose areas under decking and the house which can fill with leaves and flammable debris
  • Buy a long garden hose that can easily reach all areas of your property
  • If you have a swimming pool, let your local fire station know and post a sign on your gate that says “Static Water Supply”
  • Look around your property for a fire hydrant. If there is one, make sure it is easily accessible and very visible
  • Always have a well-stocked First Aid Kit and keep it visible in your home. Stock it with burn gel, bandages, pain killers, torches and fresh batteries, and other helpful items
  • Invest in a camping inverter or generator to provide basic power. Some battery units are small enough that they can be carried with you in the event of evacuation
  • As a community, invest in one or more AEDs (automated external defibrillators). In the event of a bush fire where emergency services are stretched or blocked off, an AED can be used to restart a person’s heart in the event of a SCA (sudden cardiac arrest).

Additional Tips

  • Make sure everyone in your household knows where the closest community evacuation point is, and to go there immediately if an order is implemented
  • Volunteer at your local Community Fire Unit – every hand helps
  • Stay aware of the fire-danger rating for each day
  • Stay informed on major fires in your area
  • If a Total Fire Ban is initiated, obey it

When a Bushfire Occurs

  • Try to prepare for the eventuality that power and water may be cut off. Have a stockpile of bottled water in the house, about 5 litres per person
  • If a bushfire occurs near your home, stay calm and call 000
  • Contain your pets so that they cannot escape, and make sure leads and containers are on hand if an evacuation is ordered
  • Check on your neighbours to see if they need assistance
  • Patrol outside your home and stamp out any embers/throw soil over them
  • Block gaps under windows and doors with wet towels to help control smoke
  • Collect your valuables (especially important documentation, your First Aid Kit, water, etc.) in a bag you can carry easily
  • Keep mobiles charged and stay in touch
  • Try to soak your lawn, decks and roof, and flood your gutters if possible
  • Bring your garden hose inside (while connected) in case you need to use it
  • Drink plenty of water (fill bathtubs and jugs in case the water goes off)
  • Wear damp masks or scarves over your face to assist with breathing
  • If an evacuation is ordered, do not hesitate – leave immediately to the community evacuation point

DefibsPlus is a leading AED supplier also offering bystander CPR and defibrillator training through our HeartSmart Program. We can assist you and your community with AEDs, batteries, storage cabinets and First Aid kits.