As one of the pre-eminent timber sales outlets in Brisbane, we care deeply about our community. That’s why we like to remind everyone about bushfire safety at least once a year. Spring and summer are right around the corner and with them come bushfire season.
At Narangba Timbers, we take care of one of the most important aspects of bushfires: helping you know your bushfire risk rating and recommending building materials that are bushfire-resistant. However, as we all know, nobody’s home or business is going to withstand a direct hit from a major bushfire. That’s why it’s important to know as much as you can about bushfires and have a bushfire escape plan.
Preparing for Bushfires
Every fire agency in Australia recommends that you have a bushfire survival plan. The plan should be written and you should discuss it with everyone in your family. It is important that everyone in the family knows the plan because it can save precious minutes in the event of an emergency situation.
One of the first fundamentals is to know and understand your bushfire danger ratings. If you have elderly parents who are frail, animals or young children, you should consider moving them as early as possible. If your home is in or near a high-risk area for bushfires, make sure you know where your nearest bushfire safe place, evacuation centre or meeting point is located. Make sure you have pre-planned routes to get there.
Check your local media for emergency information, including TV, radio and social media. It is important to have a definite plan for deciding when it’s appropriate to leave. If there are any signs of fire in your area, leave immediately. Once the fire spreads too close to your home, it can be extremely dangerous to leave. It is better to leave “too early” than to leave too late.
Make sure you have a bushfire survival kit ready. When you do decide to leave, let family and close friends know. A lot of people prefer to stay and defend their homes. We think it is extremely dangerous and should only be done under safe conditions. If you are risking your life or those of your family, it simply isn’t worth it to defend your home. Your home can be rebuilt. You and your family cannot.
When You Evacuate
When you decide to evacuate, take these precautions. Fill all of your sinks with water. Move any outdoor furniture or anything that may catch fire away from your house. Close all doors and windows.
Put water, food and your bushfire survival kit in your car. If you have gas, turn off the supply. Keep a list of contacts and take it with you so you can start informing people of your intended route.
It is important to have a backup plan. Your first route may not be available. You also need to know where you are going to take shelter if you have waited until it is not safe to leave. It is crucial that you know where to go to get away from radiant heat.
Make sure you know where your NSP (Neighbourhood Safe Place) is located. These are your last resort places and can possibly save your life and those of your family. However, they aren’t guaranteed to be totally safe and are seen as a last resort.
Most of all, make sure you have more than one exit. Your preferred route may be blocked. You need to have alternate routes to keep safe, especially if you have waited until the fire is close. To shield yourself from radiant heat, be sure you and your family are wearing protective clothing.
Beyond Timber Sales
We love being in the timber business and we feel it is our responsibility to help make our friends, neighbours and customers aware of the dangers of bushfires. We want you to stay alive and continue being our friends.
When bushfires hit, we always recommend being conservative. As far as we’re concerned, there is no such thing as leaving too early. If your life and those of your family are threatened, leave. Your “stuff” is just “stuff.” Your life and those of your family are more important.