Bushfires are an intrinsic part of our environment. The natural ecosystems have adapted to bushfire, while the diversity of the landscape has been shaped by fire.
For further information on bushfires and how you can be better prepared visit the CFS website.
Bushfire Survival Plan
It is the responsibility of all property owners to ensure that their property is cleared to reduce the risk of fire outbreak. Preparation of your home and property is an essential key throughout the year to ensure that you, your property and your family survive. A well prepared home is more likely to survive a bushfire than one that hasn't been prepared. In the event of a fire, whether you choose to leave early to go to a safer place or to stay and defend your home, planning and preparation is the key to survival. Preparing is not just about property and plans; it is also about considering your physical, mental and emotional preparedness.
A written and practised Bushfire Survival Plan is the most important part of your preparation to survive a bushfire. Your plan will help you take action and avoid making last minute decisions that could prove deadly during a bushfire. Your Bushfire Survival Plan outlines what you need to do to help safeguard your property and, most importantly, what actions each member of your family will take on fire risk days and if a fire threatens.
For more information on how to prepare your Bushfire Survival Plan visit the CFS website.
Fuel reduction is essential
Reducing the amount of vegetation is one of the most critical components of preparing for bushfires. However, there are limits to what you can clear without permission. In 2009 new rules were introduced to help manage bushfire risks and protect lives and property, while minimising the impacts on native vegetation, animals and their ecosystems. For more information about the new rules and vegetation clearance visit the CFS website.
Measures that should be taken before the fire season include:
- remove dead branches, fallen leaves and undergrowth around buildings
- move bark, mulch, woodpiles and other flammable materials from near your home
- keep gutters clear of leaves, twigs and debris
- screen gutters with metal gutter guards
- remove hazardous vegetation from around your home and cut back trees and branches overhanging the house (ensure you follow the rules for native vegetation clearance)
- remove and store combustible mats and outdoor furniture on bad days and take down hanging baskets, which may ignite or blow into windows
Greater ground clearance is desirable on slopes, especially under established trees.
Creating and maintaining a defendable space around a home does not have to mean the removal of all trees, just the careful management of vegetation to reduce the amount and type of readily available fuel.
Each season provides an opportunity to continue good maintenance. For example in winter, the CFS recommend you check with Council for a permit to burn off garden waste. If in any doubt, phone the CFS Bushfire Information Hotline on 1800 362 361.
The Fire and Emergency Services Act 2005 (Section 105F) provides that owners of land are responsible for all fire prevention practices. Substantial fines can be imposed for not carrying out that responsibility.
Fuel or fire breaks have been found to be the most effective method of containing wild fires. You are responsible for ensuring these breaks are created and maintained around the boundaries of your land. Under the Act, you are required to reduce all flammable undergrowth around your dwelling to a nominal distance of 20 metres. Trees that overhang buildings must be lopped or pruned.
A formal notice under the Act will be forwarded prior to the Fire Danger Season, and Council's Fire Prevention Officer will carry out an inspection of your property.
The Fire and Emergency Services Act 2005 (Section 105F) empowers Council to direct property owners to take immediate action to reduce the risk of fire. Failure to comply with a notice will result in an expiation notice being issued and Council proceeding to remedy the situation, with the cost being borne by the property owner.
Fire Hydrants are installed to provide our Fire Brigades with adequate water to contain a fire and provide protection for fire fighters in search and rescue. The design, installation and maintenance of hydrant systems is technical and requires specialist skills.
Our emergency services, including the Metropolitan and Country Fire Services, are kept aware of available water outlet locations in the City of Salisbury.
If you notice any damaged SA Water posts, please assist us and call SA Water on 8207 1300.