Hi <<First Name>>
We are pleased to see some very good preparations from last week, fantastic work! Remember to keep your yard tidy to be ready at any time. Already some warm sunshine and longer days are thawing out our beautiful and ever changing surrounds.
The cold weather alone will not reduce the risk of bush fire in the Mountains. Humidity and moisture on the ground play a crucial part in how quickly a fire can take hold- remember last year barely two weeks separated the heaviest snow falls seen in years from an intense fire in Wentworth Falls.
Lets recap: Last week we looked at yard maintenance. This week we will take a look at your home and talk about insurance.
TASK: Grab your clipboard
and lets take a walk...
Download this Factsheet (PDF)
How many of the points in the Factsheet can you tick off already?
Things to think about:
Do you have gutter guards & metal screens or shutters installed?
Why Metal? Metal will absorb heat rather than melt giving more protection for your windows against radiant heat or windblown projectiles (even large sticks or loose garden furniture can be picked up and carried by the intense winds that fan large fires).
Are your roof and external walls and cladding in good condition?
Holes and gaps should be covered or repaired so embers can't get in and start burning.
If you have LPG cylinders connected make sure they are clear and easy to access, that the safety vents point away from your home (or other structures). Ensure they are well maintained. BBQ bottles should be stored away from the house, positioning vents away from flammable materials. Always store them upright.
Assess your risk
This year there is a new interactive tool available on the NSW Rural Fire Service website that takes you through what you will need to consider, why not give it a go! https://assessmyrisk.rfs.nsw.gov.au/
TASK: Ignition mission
Every home has places that leaves and other debris naturally collect. By clearing these regularly you can help prevent a fire starting around your home.
We'd like you to make a checklist of these trouble spots. You will thank yourself because:
- you can easily monitor them on a regular basis;
- you can refer to it on the day of a fire;
- if you decide to stay and defend your home this list could help you focus and stay calm; and
- it gives you places to check after a fire front passes.
Keep this list as part of a chore list, check and clear these spots regularly. Common ignition trouble spots are: the join in the corner of your roof or gable, behind water tanks and corner nooks. Make sure access your roof cavity and under the house are kept clear.
Even small modifications
can make a big difference.
Following these suggestions will improve the chances of your home surviving, whether you are there or not. A well prepared property is easier to defend - for us and for you.
Insurance is not a dirty word!
Tradie advice: Don't get caught being under insured.
Check if your policy will cover the costs of re-building a home that meets strict fire safety standards. A home valuation company can provide an independent estimate.
Make sure you understand your insurance policy.
It may prove helpful to call and speak to your insurance provider to clear things up. The right coverage can give you piece of mind in a stressful time.
For some independent information on insurance we recommend these online resources:
Choice: Bushfire Cover Update
Insurance Council Consumer Tips
Blue Mountains City Council Property Matters provides a place to start when thinking about redevelopment or improvements.
Bush Fire Building Conference Expo & Community Forum, 9-10 September. At the Blue Mountains Theatre and Community Hub in Springwood.
And finally we'd like to leave you with a video
from our mates in Warrandyte:
"I've got a bunker - it's built like a brick shit house.... well it is a brick shit house"
You've made it to the bottom!
Your Emergency Kit
Ready, Set, Go! Will you be ready to leave in a hurry? What to pack? Next week we'll cover what to put in your emergency kit, even if you intend on staying to defend your home.