You can help reduce the risk to your home from bushfires by choosing the right materials when building and by regularly maintaining your property. One of the most common causes of damage and destruction to buildings from bushfires comes from embers, which travel far in advance of the fire front and can ignite debris on your roof, in your gutters and windowsills, or even under raised flooring, like decks.
Non-combustible gutters and gutter guards can help to stop embers catching fire in your gutters, fire-resistant shutters on windows can help against extreme heat, and fire retardant paints can also help to protect your home.
Make sure your property is clear of rubbish and debris to best look after your home.
If possible, create a clear protection zone of reduced vegetation and no overhanging trees around the perimeter of your house for 20 metres. By avoiding planting trees or large groups of shrubs close to buildings, you can help to reduce the amount of fuel (for a bushfire) around your home.
Locating electricity and other services like gas underground can also help to protect them from fire damage.
Contact your local council, rural fire service or a bushfire consultant to find out what your Bushfire Attack Level, or BAL, is for your home. This is a method for rating the intensity of your location’s potential exposure to bushfire. They can also help you to understand how to prepare a bushfire action plan for your home.
Maintenance around the home and preparing a bushfire action plan can be done by both homeowners and renters.