There are some simple things householders in Port Stephens can do around your home to prepare it for a bushfire.
Preparation is a key factor and the NSW Rural Fire Service implores all residents, regardless of where they live, to prepare well beforehand.
“It is essential that residents of Port Stephens have a bushfire plan because leaving it to the last minute could be too late,” Medowie Brigade Captain Andrew Collins said.
The five simple things you can do before and during the bushfire season are:
1. Trim overhanging trees and shrubs. This can stop the fire spreading to your home.
2. Mow grass and remove the cuttings. Have a cleared area around your home.
3. Remove material that can burn around your home (e.g. door mats, wood piles, mulch, leaves, paint, outdoor furniture).
4. Clear and remove all the debris and leaves from the gutters surrounding your home. Burning embers can set your home on fire.
5. Prepare a sturdy hose or hoses that will reach all around your home. Make sure you have a reliable source of water.
The Fire Service also advises people to block up areas where embers can enter the house, install metal fly screens on all windows and vents and install metal gutter guards.
“Gas cylinders should be positioned on the side of the house with the relief valve pointing away from flammable material.
Garden beds should be kept away from the house and replace mulch with stones,” a spokesperson said.
“Overhanging branches should be removed from power lines, ensure that that a fire tanker can access your property and keep a well-maintained area around the home and sheds.
“Make sure hoses have spray nozzles and keep water tanks full and connected to pumps.”
For further information contact the service at www.rfs.nsw.gov.au.