Risk Bites Issue 4: Bushfire Planning
One of the most beautiful parts of Australia is the dense bushland that surrounds many of our cities and towns.
As many of our Churches as well as our homes are in close proximity to the bush, it is important that we take precautionary measures to guard against the risk of bushfires.
With summer closing in and Australia experiencing a combination of above average temperatures and below average rainfall, many parts of Australia are at increased risk of facing bushfires over the next few months.
What Should I Do If I Live in a Bushfire Risk Area?
If you live in an area that is surrounded by or close to bushland, it is important for you to have a plan in place in case of emergency.
The Rural Fire Service website has a plethora of information to help you understand the risks associated with the area you live and develop an emergency plan.
Another useful link that may be of assistance to you, your neighbours, or your relatives is the NSW Rural Fire Services AIDER program. This program can provide assistance to people with disabilities or limited domestic support to clear vegetation and gardens. Visit this link to find out more on the website.
What Else Can I Do to Prepare?
Here are some simple tips to prepare your properties for Bushfire Season:
General tidying around the property, particularly outside of buildings, can help reduce the risk of bushfire. Trimming of overhanging trees and surrounding shrubs, grass cutting and removal of cuttings, and removal of any materials that can burn around the property, such as paints, fuel and wood piles are some good examples of actions you can take.
Over the winter, gutters can become clogged with debris such as leaves and branches. Clearing the gutters of this debris reduces the risk of ignition from embers.
As part of your annual maintenance checks, have your roof checked for any holes or missing tiles, as embers and flammable materials can easily get through cracks. These ignitions can put properties at high risk of catching fire.
Risk tip: Remember when doing any work on Church property that it is done in safe manner and by someone who is fit to perform the task. Also be sure that any work done stays within the relevant guidelines.
If you have any questions about this, please contact the Risk Team.