Weather and climate extremes make the Australian environment particularly harsh in some regions. High temperatures, low relative humidity and strong winds can combine to create ideal conditions for the rapid spread of fires in rural and semi-rural areas. It’s not just properties in the direct path of a fire that can be affected. Many homes are damaged by ember attack, where burning twigs and leaves carried by the wind land on or around a property and set it alight.
To protect your home from a potential bushfire, it’s important to be prepared and to have an escape plan. Preparation includes precautions you can take ahead of time while Escape is about knowing what to do when you need to evacuate.
According to the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES), you may only have as little as 15 seconds to escape a house fire, so quick and decisive actions are critical for your safety. Preparation is key to ensuring the best outcome for your home and your family. This list provides a handy starting point:
- Install metal gutter guards and clear out leaves
- Repair damaged or missing tiles on the roof
- Install fine metal mesh screens on windows and doors to protect from ash and debris
- Fit seals around doors and windows to eliminate gaps
- Enclose areas under the house
- Repair or cover gaps in external walls
- Attach a fire sprinkler system to gutters
- Keep your garden well maintained and clear of debris
- Keep flammable items away from your house (wood piles, mulch and paint)
- Cut back trees and shrubs overhanging buildings
- Ensure outside items are non-combustible and that the pressure relief valves on LPG cylinders face outwards
- Ensure you have smoke alarms installed that match the current legislation, and are working and properly maintained.
Fire escape plan
According to the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, it is vital to take precautions to protect yourself, your family, and your home by creating a fire escape plan. Practice this plan regularly under various conditions, including at night, with the lights off, standing and on all fours. Here are the key steps:
- Alert others
- Follow your escape route
- Exit via a door or window
- Move to the room furthest from the fire if you can’t get out
- Meet at an agreed safe stop
- Call Triple 0 (000)
Building a barrier with fire attenuation screens
You can better protect your home from bushfires by upgrading your doors and windows with fire attenuation screens from Crimsafe Security Systems. Here’s why:
Crimsafe fire attenuation screens provide excellent protection from ember attack, reduce radiant heat, and protect glass from the impact of burning debris.
Crimsafe has tested its security screens to meet the highest levels in bushfire protection, and can be used in bushfire prone areas up to and including those rated BAL-FZ.
Crimsafe’s Tensile-Tuff stainless steel mesh is specially designed to a size and shape (1.5mm x 1.5mm aperture) that meets the requirements of the Australian Standard AS 3959-2009 bushfire protection guidelines and prevents ember penetration during bushfires.
Crimsafe’s Safe-S-Capes is a keyless emergency exit system that secures your windows against intruders, but still allows you to get out quickly and easily in the event of an emergency. Safe-S-Capes can be hinged or sliding, making them suitable to fit hinged, sash or sliding windows. The one-touch release system ensures your fast escape, without compromising its exceptionally strong security.