Get bushfire ready this summer

A bushfire burns through bushland. A bushfire burns through bushland.

This summer is set to be a scorcher with an increased risk of heatwaves and bushfires throughout the ACT. Preventative measures will help keep your home and family safer this summer.

FOUR SIMPLE STEPS TO GET BUSHFIRE READY

1. Discuss what to do if a bushfire threatens your home

It’s important to sit down with everyone in your family and even your neighbours and others around you, to discuss an action plan. A written Bushfire Survival Plan saves lives and means that scenarios have been discussed and decisions made ahead of any possible bushfire threat.

To help you prepare a Bushfire Survival Plan, download a template from the ESA website.

2. Prepare your home

Remove material from around your home that may burn easily including door mats, wood piles, leaves, paint, and furniture. This will help prevent fires from spreading. Make sure you trim any overhanging trees and shrubs, mow tall grass around your home and dispose of the cuttings properly. To avoid embers setting alight, clear and remove debris and leaves from gutters and always have a reliable source of water available that is also connected to sturdy hoses that can reach all around your home.

3. Familiarise yourself with and know the bushfire alert levels

The alert levels are based on how fire is expected to behave on that particular day. The higher the rating, the more prepared you need to be. A ‘very high’ rating means you should activate your Bushfire Survival Plan and regularly check for updates. ‘Severe’ means that fires will be unpredictable, fast moving, and your survival is the first priority. These alert levels can be seen displayed on electronic roadside signs across Canberra, or on the ESA website.

4. Keep track of all information, emergency numbers, websites and the ‘Fires Near Me’ App

To get informed about bushfire activity in the region, don’t rely on just one source. You can keep up to date using the ‘fires near me app’, by visiting www.esa.act.gov.au, by following ‘ACTESA’ on Facebook or Twitter, listening to local radio reports, or calling Access Canberra on 13 22 81. If you do find yourself in danger during a bushfire emergency, please call triple zero (000).

KNOW YOUR RISK

Where you live can determine if both you and your home are at a higher risk of bushfire and what kind of fire you might experience.

You can check if you live in a Bushfire Prone Area by searching for your address on the ESA’s interactive mapping tool.

Bush

If you live in an area close to bushlands, you’re at risk of fires that can be hot, intense and throw burning embers towards your home.

Paddocks

If you live on the outskirts of the city or near paddocks, you are at risk of fires that can spread quickly over a great distance.

Grasslands

If you live in an area where grasslands meet built up areas or homes, you’re at risk of fires that can start easily and spread quickly.

On a hill

If you live on top of a hill, you are at risk as fires travel uphill faster. For every 10 degrees of slope, the fire can double in speed.

To download a Bushfire Survival Plan or to familiarise yourself with the Fire Danger Rating levels visit the ACT Emergency Services website at esa.act.gov.au

To stay up-to-date with bushfire safety and warnings visit esa.act.gov.au, or follow ACT ESA on Facebook or Twitter.