Bushfires are an unpredictable risk for people managing or living on farms. While they occur often enough, however, a good deal of people still fail to properly prepare for them.
Farmers have legislative responsibilities to reduce the risks brought about by bushfires to their land, workers, livestock and crops. If you manage or live on a farm, take note of these precautionary measures to defend your property, animals and people from raging bushfires.
Having a fire management plan in place is the best defence against bushfires. A well prepared home is easier for fire fighters to defend, less risk for your neighbours and will also give you more protection if a fire threatens suddenly and you cannot leave.
Simple measures that you can incorporate in your bushfire management plan include:
- Keep grass short by moving, slashing or grazing. Remember that a good season gives rise to a bulk of feed that can become a dry mass of fuel for a fire.
- Keep all of your fire fighting trailer units in optimum condition. Fill them with water and place them in easily accessible areas.
- Avoid using chainsaws, welders, tractors and other petrol or electrical equipment during hot and windy days. If you really need to use those machines under such circumstances, ensure that they’re in good working order and that there is a readily accessible fire extinguisher or other fire suppression equipment.
- Know where you can quickly move your livestock to safety. Make sure all exit points are clear of obstructions so that you can evacuate with ease and swiftness.
- Move any highly flammable materials such as woodpiles away from homes, sheds and other valuable assets.
- Trim branches away from power lines.
- Store fuel and petrol safely away from your house, preferably in sheds.
WHAT TO DO DURING A BUSHFIRE
Remember, your safety is the highest priority. Call emergency services if needed, make sure you are tuned into your local radio station or emergency services to stay up-to-date and ensure your home is well prepared.
Bushfires can happen without any warning and they travel fast. An article posted by La Trobe University states that in the past, people who have been caught in bushfires wearing light summer dresses or swimsuits have died from being exposed to direct heat. Before the fire front arrives, take refuge from direct heat and cover yourself up with protective clothing.
If you decide to actively defend your property before the fire fighters arrive, wear long sleeved overalls, safety goggles and solid footwear such as leather boots. Wet down all areas of your property that face the direction of the fire as well as pre-determined problem areas. Extinguish any spot fires that may start.
DEFENDING YOUR HOME CHECKLIST
- Everyone defending the home is wearing protective clothing
- Make sure all cars, farm equipment, caravans, machinery and portable gas cylinders are moved away from the home.
- Remove any flammable items such as door mats, outdoor furniture or decorative peices away from the home.
- Ensure the main gas supply and air conditioners are switched off. Gas cylinders should also be kept upright with their relief valve facing away from the building.
- Fill gutters with water and wet down around the building. Keep wet towels and rags nearby.
- Windows and doors should be closed and wet towels used to fill gaps under doors.
- It is recommended that you shelter inside until the fire front passes but still patrol for embers and extinguish them on landing.
- If your house catches alight, close the door to the room behind you. Never get caught in a room without an exit. If you must go outside, move onto burnt ground as soon as possible.
The high air temperature during bushfires and your extra clothing will make you sweat heavily. To avoid dehydration, keep cool by constantly splashing your face with cool water as well as by drinking water often.
Small spot fires can quickly go out of control and you don’t want to risk having another fire wreck your farm. Once the fire has passed, patrol your property with an extinguisher to put out sparks or embers.
PROTECT YOUR PROPERTY FROM BUSHFIRES WITH RAPID SPRAY
Bushfires are unpredictable no matter where you live in Australia. Help keep your property safe from their wrath with Rapid Spray’s fire fighting trailer units. We put a high premium on safety so our robust machines have been designed and built to help you efficiently and effectively extinguish bushfires and grassfires. Each unit comes with different accessories that we can modify to cater to your specific needs.
To learn more about our fire fighting trailers, call us on 1800 011 000.