Property preparation could save your life

Property preparation could save your life

East Gippsland fire prevention agencies are urging property owners to take bushfire preparations into their own hands and not rely solely on local fire agencies this summer.

Residents who live near dense or open bush, grassland or the coast need to prepare their property for bushfires.

CFA operations manager district 11, Daryl Hunter, said that now – not later – was the time to start doing some work around your property to give it the best possible chance to survive a fire.

“A well-prepared property has the greatest chance of surviving a bushfire,” he said.

“Some simple preventative measures will significantly reduce the risk of ember attacks, direct flames and radiant heat damaging or even destroying your property.”

Cutting back vegetation is the most common way to prepare your property, but burning this waste off is not the preference owed to the existing conditions and lack of rainfall across East Gippsland.

Green waste disposal is free at East Gippsland Shire Council’s Bairnsdale, Lakes Entrance, Cann River, Bruthen, Buchan, Mallacoota, Marlo, Metung, Omeo, Orbost and Swifts Creek waste facilities.

However, if you are planning to burn off, this must be done well before the fire restrictions come into force and burn offs need to be registered on the burn off notification line 1800 668 511.

”While CFA and other fire agencies do everything it can, we look to the community to use common sense and take responsibility for themselves and their property,” Mr Hunter said.

Inside today’s East Gippsland News you will find your free “Guide to property preparation”, urging all residents to make use of this resource and begin clean ups.

TIPS FOR A WELL-PREPARED PROPERTY

  • Keep grass cut to less than 10cm;
  • Use pebbles or rocks in your garden (not flammable mulch);
  • Keep gutters clear of leaf litter;
  • Remove flammable items from decks and verandahs such as boxes, furniture and doormats;
  • Do not have large scrubs next to or under windows;
  • Keep woodpiles away from the house;
  • Cut back overhanging branches - no branches within 10m of buildings.
  • Store flammable liquids away from the house;
  • Prune lower branches of shrubs to separate from surface fuels underneath;
  • Prune shrubs well away from tree branches;
  • Get rid of dry grass, leaves, twigs and loose bark.

“On a code red day, no amount of preparation can save you or your property from a bushfire and it is advised that people who live in bush or rural areas have a leave early plan – you should simply not be there during a fire,” Mr Hunter said.

PICTURED: Operations manager of East Gippsland, Daryll Hunter, municipal fire prevention officer, Darren Lang, Bairnsdale CFA members, Nellie Taylor and Graeme East, district business manager, Vanessa McLeod, Tambo district manager of Forest Fire Management Victoria, Brad Fisher, and regional manager of Forest Fire Management Victoria, Richard Teychenne, are gearing up for the bushfire season.


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