Benalla’s miraculous escape from flooding at the weekend does not mean you should forget about bushfire season, according to the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Co-operative Research Centre.
The centre is predicting an increase in bushfires in the coming months.
While fire brigades do what they can to reduce the risk and damage of bushfires, there are preliminary steps you can take to reduce the bushfire threat in your area.
Hipages, an Australian company backing trusted tradies, offers seven tips to prepare for bushfires.
Garden maintenance: your garden is a bushfire breeding ground. Ensuring your garden is in a condition that will not foster the spread of the fire is paramount during bushfire season.
Prune any branches that overhang your roof and remove any low, loose or long branches that could easily catch fire, and keep your grass relatively short.
Gutter cleaning: as with your backyard, gutters can accumulate a leaf build-up perfect to fuel an encroaching bushfire.
Call in a gutter-cleaning service to thoroughly rid your gutters of any kindling, mitigating the risk of a spreading bushfire at your home.
Screen enclosures: fire can creep in though cracks in window and door fittings. Embers are the perfect size to billow into your home through gaps and crevasses in your windows and door. A good screen installation company will be able to fit out your windows and doors within a day.
Pool maintenance: consider your pool a valuable resource during bushfire season.
A pool is a viable water source for firefighters. Ensure your pool is replenished with plenty of clean water, ready for use should a bushfire occur.
Smoke alarms: one of the most important jobs to complete ahead of bushfire season, yet one that may be overlooked, is a smoke alarm check which is required by law.
Ensure they are not more than 10 years old, are in working order and are permanently connected to consumer mains power.
If you haven’t had your smoke alarm checked recently, call in your local electrician.
Locksmiths: deadlocks can prove to be dangerous roadblocks in people’s homes as residents can lock themselves in. An easily unlockable door is important during bushfire season, particularly if you have to abandon your home.
Roofing: your roof needs to be free of any gaps or openings where fire could be enticed to enter. Ensure missing or damaged roof tiles are replaced or repaired.
Talk to a roofing expert who will be able to safely inspect the top of your home.