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Smart fire prevention
NATURE throws many challenges our
way, and not the least of them – for
rural households and property owners
They can start from natural causes such as
lightning strikes, by carelessness and, unfortu-
nately, the can be deliberately lit.
It has been well established over the years
that householders and property owners are
more able to protect themselves and their
homes and assets if they become more familiar
with how to prepare for fire.
In this regard and to name just a few, the
South Australian Country Fire Service has pre-
pared a several of fact sheets, including:
A guideline on what to do and how to act in
an emergency – a top 10 listing of the things
you should know.
A great deal of the responsibility for ensur-
ing adequate pre-bushfire season precautions
have been implemented, rests with individual
home and landholders and developing a well-
planned property management program to
lower the risk of threat from a bushfire.
Following reasonably plentiful winter rain-
fall, many areas have an abundance of crop
stubble, and undercover growth which is dry-
ing and becoming highly-flammable material.
The following actions should be carried out
well in advance of the bushfire season:
• Maintain a firebreak of at least 30 metres
around the home and other structures (sheds
and so on) by keeping unwanted grass growth
continuously cut and trimmed.
• Remove any trees and shrubs close to the
house or sheds that can fowl gutters with dry
leaf and other debris.
• Keep all gutters clear of dry leaf and other
debris at all times.
• Cut excess grass around and under fences.
• Heavily graze all well-grassed paddocks
and consider some prescribed burning to
lower fuel levels.
• Teach all children the basic safety rules.
• Draw up a plan for the safety of pets and
• Move livestock early. It is important to
have ploughed or grass-free areas available to
• Store flammable items – including gas bot-
tles - well clear of the home and sheds.
• Check the availability of extra water sup-
plies from tanks, dams, swimming pools and
• Check that the firefighting equipment is
operational and check it regularly throughout
the bushfire season.
If planning a fuel-reduction program before
the bushfire season starts, it must be carefully
planned, supervised and carried-out at an
appropriate time under the right conditions.
The management plan should include advis-
ing the local CFS, the local-government body
this may be a legal requirement in some
regions – or both, along with neighbours.
With prescribed burning, the fire must
never exceed the ability to control it.
If all the adequate safety precautions have
been implemented and undertaken, a decision
has to be made in the case of a seriously
threatening bushfire situation, whether to stay,
fight and protect the home and property, or to
If staying to protect the family home or
• Turn off gas connections.
• Turn on any sprinkler systems and wet-
down the walls facing the fire front.
• Dress all people staying in protective
• Ensure pets are sheltered and have identi-
fication tags in case they go missing.
• Fill all available buckets, other containers
and even the bath with water.
• Close all windows and doors and place
wet towels between any gaps.
In all bushfire events, ring the CFS and do
not assume someone has already done so.
• Need to know more?
CFS HOTLINE 1300 362 361
A great deal of the responsibility for ensuring adequate pre-bushfire season precautions have been
implemented, rests with individual home and landholders.
◗ Make 30m firebreaks around buildings
◗ Remove trees, shrubs close to the house,
◗ Heavily graze paddocks, consider prescribed
THE bushfire season has arrived. If you live in a rural or farming area,
or near bushland, do not be caught by surprise – you need to become
bushfire prepared. DAVID EAST reports.
Plan for staying
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