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Are You Prepared to Survive the Australian Bush Fires?

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As Austin is starting to get into fall, Australia is just getting to their summer. Like Texas, the summer time often means wildfire season. Australia is fighting 66 fires this week. The fight is dangerous and even when the fires are extinguished the clean up will be a long, arduous process in the summer heat. If you're at the heart of the battle, we'd like to share a few fire safety tips and resources. Cool as Ice Caps hopes to help you prepare your home and a safety plan to minimize the casualties of the wildfires. 

Preparing

If you're in a high-risk area, make sure your home is prepared and protected, and that you have an evacuation plan. Below is a short list of tips and some reference sites to get you started on your preparations. 

      • Prepare your Bush Fire Survival Plan.
      • Cutback any overhanging trees or shrubs and dispose of cuttings appropriately. 
      • Check the condition of your roof and replace any damaged or missing tiles. 
      • Non-combustible fences are the most effective at withstanding the intense heat generated by a bush fire. 
      • Plant trees and shrubs that are less likely to ignite due to their low oil content. 
      • Clean leaves from the roof, gutters, and downpipes, and fit quality metal leaf guards. 
      • If you have a water tank, dam, or swimming pool consider installing a Static Water Supply Sign. 
      • Insurance: Maintain adequate levels of home and content insurance. 
      • Enclose basement areas. 
      • Store woodpiles away from the house and keep covered. 
      • Keep garden mulch away from the house and keep grass short.
      • Install metal fly wire or solid screens to the outside windows and doors. 
      • Have a non-combustible doormat. 
      • Check the conditions of external walls, cladding, and seal any gaps. Remove and store any flammable items away from the house. 
      • Ensure you have a hose that is long enough to reach every part of the home. 
      • Make sure the pressure relief valves of LPG cylinders face outwards (so flame is not directed toward the house). 
      • Keep garden mulch away from the house and keep grass short. 
      • Ensure you drink plenty of water so you do not dehydrate. 
      • Block your downpipes, (a sock full of sand/ soil will help) and fill your gutters with water. 
      • Move flammable items such as outdoor furniture, doormats, hanging baskets away from the house. 
      • Do not stand on your roof with your hose. In bush fires, often more people are injured by falling from roofs than suffering burns. 
      • Patrol the outside of your home, putting
out any embers and spot fires that may start. 
      • An ember or spark can reach your home hours before the fire front arrives. 
      • Just before the fire arrives, wet down timber decks and gardens close to the house. 
      • Move any firefighting equipment to a place that it will not get burnt.

Bush Fire Survival Plan

Evacuating

If you're advised to evacuate, plan to leave early! Otherwise, you can get stuck in your car with nowhere to go and suffer from smoke inhalation and extreme heat, both of which can be fatal. Plan to evacuate if you have children, or elderly or disabled people in your home. Depending on the severity of the fire, your property will be impossible to protect and you should leave early.  

australian bush fires cool as ice caps

If Caught in a Wildfire

      • Don't try to outrun the blaze. Instead, look for a body of water such as a pond or river to crouch in.
      • If there is no water nearby, find a depressed, cleared area with little vegetation, lie low to the ground, and cover your body with wet clothing, a blanket, or soil.
      • Stay low and covered until the fire passes.
      • Protect your lungs by breathing air closest to the ground, through a moist cloth, if possible, to avoid inhaling smoke. 

- http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/natural-disasters/wildfire-safety-tips/

Resources

http://www.fire.tas.gov.au/Show?pageId=colpreparePlan

http://www.cfs.sa.gov.au/site/about_us/publications/fact_sheets_bushfire_prevention.jsp 

http://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/file_system/attachments/Attachment_BushFireSurvivalPlan.pdf

http://www.fire.tas.gov.au/Show?pageId=colpreparePlan

Cool as Ice Caps has the victims and firefighters who are battleing the Bush Fires in our thoughts and prayers. We hope that the blazes will be extinguished soon and that the rebuilding process begins quickly. 

 



Company info

  • Long Tail Products
  • 3005 S. Lamar Blvd.
  • Suite D109-146
  • Austin, TX 78704
  • 1-877-283-3901

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