It is timely to remind residents that the bushfire season is upon us again. The fire authorities are reminding us it may be a higher than normal bushfire season and to prepare our homes and properties NOW.
You should be aware of and make yourself familiar with the essential emergency procedures that are recommended by the ACT Emergency Services Agency. Comprehensive information and related plans can be accessed on the ACT Emergency Services website.
Know your risk! Check if your house is located in a bushfire prone area and prepare your exit strategy by planning your exit routes in the event of an emergency.
Download and complete a Bushfire Survival Plan. This plan contains everything you need to know about bushfire safety and survival. Make sure everyone in your household is brushed up on the plan regularly!
A Bushfire Survival Plan helps you make important decisions before you are threatened by a bushfire. Your plan will help protect your family and assist you in preparing your home.
It's a good idea to leave your house looking "lived in" if you're going away in order to prevent a nasty surprise upon your return. The easiest way to do this is to have a trusted friend or relative house-sit for you. Otherwise you could leave a key with a trusted neighbour and ask them to rearrange your blinds occasionally, or even park their car in your driveway. Perhaps they can also put your bins out and collect your mail.
* Lock away tools, ladders and anything that could be used to get into your home/garage/shed;
* Turn down the volume on your phone so it can't be heard ringing unanswered;
* Don't leave a message on your answering machine (or Facebook) that tells callers you are away;
* Use an automatic timer to turn on lights, TV or radio at different times;
* If you have a lawn, perhaps arrange for somebody to mow it if you will be away for more than a couple of weeks.