Sydney, Australia, September 25, 2011 --(PR.com
)-- “As we have sadly seen in recent weeks, the bushfire season has begun early this year, with fires already causing chaos in several parts of Australia,” HomeSource Joint Managing Director Pia Vogel said.
Emergency services declared “catastrophic fire conditions” this week in New South Wales and Victoria; while Queensland saw the prospect of its fire-risk assessment being upgraded from “extreme”. Fire-fighters warn that this does not bode well for summer, and that home owners should be aware of this heightened risk.
Research by the CSIRO has revealed that the biggest risk to houses in bushfire-prone areas is the possibility of sparks and embers landing on your home that can trigger a fire, even before and hours after the bushfire has passed. The CSIRO recommends that making a few simple changes to peoples’ homes may greatly reduce the chances of a house igniting.
“Listen to the experts like the CSIRO. If living near the bush is part of your lifestyle, then you must focus on altering the design details of your house so as to minimise the potential bushfire risks to your home, before the weather heats up any more,” Ms Vogel said.
At HomeSource, they try to help homeowners save money and learn more about ways to better maintain their homes through their low cost membership products.
“In this case active prevention is the critical work all homeowners need to think about,” Ms Vogel said.
Ms Vogel said all homeowners can take some basic steps and structural measures to reduce your home’s risk are:
Windows, vents and crevices – Ensure your home is spark-proof by installing stainless steel or bronze flywire screens on verandas, windows and doors; or fire resistant metal shutters. Cover all wall cavities in fine wire mesh. Enclose areas under decks and floors and screen vents in the roof space with a fine wire mesh.
Property access – Ensure that gateways are at least 3 metres wide with clear access and a turnaround point for firefighting vehicles.
Smooth surfaces – You should paint or refurbish dried exterior timber and repair nooks or crannies where leaves and debris can gather.
Walls – Choose non-flammable wall materials such as brick, mud brick or fibre cement as materials such as vinyl weatherboards and rough timber can warp or catch fire. Any gaps in the external roof and wall cladding also need to be sealed.
Decks – horizontal surfaces, such as large timber decks, are particularly vulnerable to fire, with leaves accumulating on bearers beneath the timber slats. Safer options include decks without gaps, metal capping on bearers, and those made of fire-resistant timber.
Roofing – It is preferable to have well-secured metal roofing; or tiled roofs need to be well fitted with fire-resistant sarking such as fibreglass-based aluminium foil.
Skylights – Ensure to install wire-reinforced glass or a thermo plastic cover on skylights, as plastic can melt and glass can break in intense heat.
Sprinkler system – A home bushfire sprinkler system that directs water over the roof, windows, doors and underfloor areas is one of the most effective ways to protect against radiant heat, direct flame and ember attack.
When considering making alterations to your home like the ones mentioned above, it is always wise to consult professional advice and ensure that you hire a credible tradesperson for the job. At HomeSource, they offer a range of products low and affordable prices that could help you in these areas to bush-fire proof your home safely for.
Make your home bushfire-proof this season!
For a yearly membership fee of $110, HomeSource Access is a source of quality advice on issues big or small, without the need to make an appointment.
For details on this product or other HomeSource products, visit http://www.homesource.com.au.