News // April 27, 2023
Written by Spyropoulos Alicia
9 Ways to Fire-Proof Your Home for the Aussie Summer
Although the warmer seasons have come to an end and we now find ourselves among the sometimes rainy, sometimes sunny, in-between weather of Autumn, it is never too early to begin preparing your valuable home for the next fire season.
In Australia, bushfires are common during summer and can quickly destroy properties and threaten lives. As the AFAC explains, some areas of the country may even be at above normal risk of bushfire during this very time of year, so it is important to be aware of the risk level in your area, and be prepared.
From the installation of bushfire shutters to having a fire plan at the ready, here are some steps you can take to make sure your homes located in bushfire prone areas are ready for the worst.
1. Clear gutters and roofs
Fine fuels such as dry plants and twigs can promote fire. For this reason, it’s recommended that you keep your gutters clean to avoid elements closer to the home catching fire. You can clean them yourself using a gutter scoop or a small shovel, or hire a professional.
2. Install smoke detectors
Smoke detectors can alert you of a fire before it is too late, and give you and your family time to evacuate. While these are essential in any home, they are especially crucial in bushfire-prone areas.
If you already have detectors installed, it is important to check that they are all operating correctly and have batteries replaced if needed.
3. Seal your home
Any gaps in windows, doors or walls can be a space through which embers can enter your home. Sealing gaps around doors or windows with weatherstripping or with sealant is essential to help fire-proof your home.
4. Install fire-resistant doors
The doors of your home are one of the primary entry points, so making sure these are as resistant to fire as possible is crucial. Doors made from metal or hard timber will help to prevent fire from spreading to your home, with steel generally being the most effective material against fire.
5. Create a defensible space
A defensible space around the home involves an area cleared of any flammable materials. In the event of a fire, this will act as a buffer and stop or slow any potential fire. A space of at least 30 metres around your home is recommended.
6. Maintain your garden
A well-maintained garden can also reduce fire risk. It’s important to keep grass under 75mm high, and well-watered. You should also remove any fine fuels such as dry grass, leaves, twigs and any loose bark, and any other flammable rubbish or materials.
7. Familiarise yourself with a fire plan
Planning the course of action that you and your family will take for bushfires and grassfires can save precious time deciding what you are going to do in the moment, and save your life. Vic.gov.au has an excellent list of questions that you should prepare an answer for to solidify your fire action plan.
The Red Cross also has a great app to help you get prepared for an emergency.
8. Install fire sprinklers
Sprinklers can be very effective when it comes to preventing fire damage to your property. They are able to extinguish fire before it spreads, giving you and your family more time to evacuate if needed and reduce the overall impact.
9. Bushfire shutters
These shutters are an essential home addition to offer bushfire protection. As windows are the most common entry points for fire into the home, these roller shutters guard vulnerable openings from heat and debris, preventing them from shattering or magnifying heat onto flammable items within the home.
For additional safety and preparation, you can check your fire district’s fire danger rating in Victoria via the CFA website up to 4 days in advance.
Protect Your Home with Security Plus Bushfire Shutters
Security Plus Shutters & Blinds fire-resistant shutters are built to comply with the Australian Bushfire Construction Standard AS3959 – 2009 (clauses 3.7 & 8.5.1). This means they have a rating of bushfire attack level 40 (BAL40), including heat shielding properties to 40kW/m^s.
These shutters are made from high quality aluminium alloy with a commercial-grade double wall extruded profile for heavy-duty strength and extreme heat protection. They also sport a stainless steel axle with robust internal sealed bearings for added immunity, and are fully insulated.
To protect your home against fire risk ahead of summer, contact us to arrange a free consultation.