FIRE THREAT: Have an action plan. Photo: Contributed.
FIRE THREAT: Have an action plan. Photo: Contributed.

Protect your home from fire

PROTECTING a property from a bushfire is no easy task and could be a fatal mistake once avenues of escape have been cut. So, are you prepared for bushfire season?

In catastrophic fire conditions, home defence is not an option but in "extreme" situations, a planned home defence can be executed by properly equipped residents.

A defendable house should be clear of debris and vegetation for at least a 300m radius as overhanging trees or ground fuel will make it extremely accessible to an encroaching fire.

Ensure you have a ladder for roof access, as fires often enter homes through the roof.

Seal your windows and keep furniture as far from them as possible.

Expect to go it alone, as power, water and electronic systems fail and ensure the infirm, elderly or young in your charge are removed early from the property, as a first priority.

Liaise with your neighbours about your choice to leave or stay during a bushfire emergency and try to organise a community safe zone to which you can withdraw.

During the fight, you and your crew will require protective clothing, hoses, extinguishers and as much water on hand as possible.

Fire captain Brian Colley suggested filling wheelie bins and any other containers with water, to dampen whichever side of your home was exposed to a bushfire or to extinguish spot fires.

Heat and smoke would make it hard to breathe and sap your stamina, so have at least one other person with you, in support of any defensive measures.