Bushfires, like the 2009 Victorian Bushfires, are common in Australia and can strike at anytime. It is very important to understand how to survive a Bushfire.

What clothing should you wear in a bushfire?
Long pants, wool or cotton socks with sturdy shoes, woolen jumper a wide brimmed hat and a scarf to cover your mouth and nose from possible smoke inhalation.

What should you do around you house and property to make it fire safe?

  • Clean leaves out of gutters.
  • Keep grass cut and clear away fallen leaves, bark and dead undergrowth.
  • Make sure that you have access to good water supplies.
  • Install a sprinkler system around your home.
  • Gather appropriate fire equipment such as: ladders, hoses, buckets, mops, portable water pumps, a ladder, rake and a torch.

How do you protect yourself if caught in a car in a bushfire?

  • Switch the headlights on so that other cars can see you.
  • Turn off fans and air conditioners to keep the smoke out.
  • Keep the windows wound up.
  • While waiting for the bushfire to pass, lie very low in the car and cover yourself with a woolen blanket.
  • Park the car where there are no low shrubs or long grass.

Tip – Remember to drink lots of water to stop yourself from dehydrating.

The dangers of embers

A house may catch on fire by sparks and embers lodging themselves in roof gutters, on the roof, in wall vents and on window ledges.  If not put out soon after they fall they can start a small fire which then could spread to the whole buiding.

How to protect your house in a bushfire:

  • Shut all windows and doors to prevent smoke from entering house.
  • Move furniture away from the windows to prevent sparks from entering through broken windows and onto furniture.
  • Fill bath with buckets of water for extra water supply.
  • Soak towels and woolen blankets with water to cover your smoke from face and to place them around doors and window edges to stop embers from entering the house.
  • Hose down the side of the house facing the fire to cool it down and stop it from burning.

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