News

Protect your home from bushfires with these easy tips

Helen and Ross Pye of Ashby with a hose run from their own fire-fighting pump. Photo: Adam Hourigan
Helen and Ross Pye of Ashby with a hose run from their own fire-fighting pump. Photo: Adam Hourigan

THE thought of a bushfire sweeping through their rural property terrifies Ashby residents Ross and Helen Pye.

As a former volunteer firefighter with 15 years service, Ross has plenty of first-hand experience in seeing the dramatic effects of bushfire, which is why he has taken extra precautions to ensure his home has the best chance of surviving one.

Two years ago the couple installed a roof-top sprinkler system on their home, using readily available polypipe.

Costing less than $200, in the event of an emergency the system is designed to flood the gutters simply by turning on a tap.

The sprinklers keep the gutters wet and dampen the ground around the home for added protection.

"What many people don't realise is that embers can travel several kilometres ahead of the fire," said Ross.

"And when hot embers land in gutters full of leaf litter, it's very easy for a fire to start. A roof-top system is a simple thing that affords enormous protection to the house and in my opinion, using polypipe is a very cheap way of doing it."

He said metal pipe was an alternative to polypipe, but as it required professional installation and cost thousands of dollars, he believed most households could not afford it.

"Unfortunately a metal pipe system is out of reach for most people and they simply won't do it."

While admitting there's a risk of the polypipe melting under extreme heat, he said as long as it was carrying water, it would need to be a very high temperature.

The couple have invested in a 5hp fire fighting pump with 50m of hose, which allows water to be pumped directly from a bore on site.

He advised getting a back-up generator for the pump in case power was cut.

"When buying a pump it's important to think about what happens if power is lost - if that happens with an electric pump and the home doesn't have a back-up generator, you're buggered," he said.

His bushfire plan includes keeping goggles and a face mask to protect eyes and lungs from smoke.

More information on preparing for bushfire attack is available from the NSW Rural Fire Service here or from your local RFS base.

Keep embers at bay:

  •  Install metal gutter guards
  •  Repair damaged or missing tiles on the roof
  •  Install fine metal mesh screens on windows and doors
  •  Fit seals around doors and windows to eliminate gaps
  •  Enclose the areas under the house
  •  Repair or cover gaps in external walls
  •  Attach a fire sprinkler system to gutters

Source: Bush Fire Safety fact sheet / NSW Rural Fire Service

Topics:  bushfire, protection, safety




Top female axemen competes in Glenreagh

Ashleigh Heath after she made it into the 300mm Underhand Handicap Final at the Glenreagh Timber Festival wood chop.

Glenreagh Timber Festival draws NZ top female axemen.

12 Things To Do this weekend

Yulgilbar Castle will open to the public on Sunday.

Check out what's happening across the Clarence Valley

Time to nominate for poll

Want to contest the elections for NSW councils? You can this Monday

Latest deals and offers

Talking whiskey with Jack Daniel’s master distiller

It all comes down to the distillery

SIXTY MILES AHEAD sign with Eclipse Records, prepare new album 'Insanity'

Sixty Miles Ahead sign with Eclipse. Photo Contributed

Sixty Miles Ahead to release new album on Eclipse

Thy Art Is Murder are killing it

See Thy Art is Murder on their killer tour happening right now. Photo Contributed

We talk with Thy Art is Murder about touring, babies, and new music

Date announced for Prince tribute concert

A Prince tribute concert will take place later this year

Matt Damon is taking a break from acting

Matt Damon is taking a break to spend time with his family

Is Brian Harrigan the next mayor of Clarence Shire?

CIVIC DISORDER: Clarence Valley mayor Richie Williamson is not quite sure what to make of Brian Harrigan, who claims to be the new mayor in town and is spruiking his ideas for Australia Day.

A new leader is rising out of the woodwork

Queensland's $1 town goes under the hammer today

The township of Yelarbon is up for sale.

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

Massive residential 9-storey high-rise hit by delays

An artist’s impression of the eight-storey-high apartment complex that Bernoth Holdings wants to build in South Toowoomba, next to the City Golf Club.

Developer struggles to get approved high-rise development started