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					STAY AND DEFEND

 prepare
 prepare
 stay and defend




       A bush fire information
       checklist and action plan
       to help you
       Prepare to Stay and Defend
prepare
                                                                             P R E P A R E… S T AY A N D D E F E N D   1




                                                                               Prepare…
                                                                               Stay and Defend
                                                                               You have chosen to Stay and Defend
                                                                               your home – you have a responsibility
                                                                               to reduce the fire risks around your
                                                                               property.

                                                                               The following steps should be taken
                                                                               at the start of the bush fire season.
Disclaimer
The information contained in this publication is provided voluntarily
                                                                               It is strongly recommended that you
as a public service by the Fire and Emergency Services Authority of            maintain this level of preparation
Western Australia (FESA). This publication has been prepared in good
faith and is derived from sources believed to be reliable and accurate at      throughout the bush fire season to
the time of publication. Nevertheless, the reliability and accuracy of the
information cannot be guaranteed and FESA expressly disclaims liability        reduce the risk to your home.
for any act or omission done or not done in reliance on the information
and for any consequences whether direct or indirect, arising from such
act or omission.
This publication is intended to be a guide only and readers should
obtain their own independent advice and make their own necessary
inquiries.
2                                                                    P R E P A R E… S T AY A N D D E F E N D                          3


Preparation Action Checklist                                         ❑ Create a 20 metre circle of safety around your
                                                                         home (a defendable space).
❑ Have a Bush Fire Action plan for your family                           Clear all rubbish, dry timber, piles of wood and any other
    Refer to page 8.                                                     material that will burn easily from around your home to a
                                                                         distance of at least 20 metres away. Keep this area clear
                                                                         throughout the bush fire season. If you have trees within
                                                                         this space, please ensure there is a minimum 2 metre gap
                                                                         between the trees and the house.




❑ Identify the potential fire risks around your home.
    Walk around your property and imagine a bush fire is
    approaching. Identify any item that is likely to burn or where
    embers are likely to enter and start a fire. For example, gaps
    in the structure, underfloor spaces, external vents, skylights,
    evaporative air conditioners and chimneys.
    Take action to reduce the risk embers pose, for example, use     ❑ Ensure you have complied with your local
    metal mesh and wire flyscreens where appropriate and close            government’s fire break requirements.
    in spaces under the eaves.
                                                                     ❑ Keep gutters leaf-free.
4                                                                  P R E P A R E… S T AY A N D D E F E N D                              5

❑ Regularly rake up, dig in or pick up dead leaves                 ❑ Locate LP gas cylinders on the side of the house
    and litter.                                                        that is furthest away from the likely direction of a
    Trees can catch fire because dead leaves, loose bark and            bush fire.
    litter under them are burning. On windy days, notice where         Make sure the pressure relief valve is directed away from the
    leaves gather – this is where embers are also likely to land       house and that there is no flammable material in front of the
    during a bush fire.                                                 valve for at least six metres. Set the cylinders on a concrete
                                                                       or brick base and fix them to a strong support.

                                                                   ❑ Plan what you will do with pets and livestock in
                                                                       the case of a bush fire.
                                                                       Your animals will need water, shade and a refuge from the fire.




❑ Check the condition of your roof covering.
    Replace any damaged or missing roof tiles and make sure
    there are no openings where sparks or embers could get in.

❑ Remove and store any fuel supplies and
    chemicals away from the house.                                 ❑ Review your insurance cover.
                                                                       Ensure that your home and contents insurance cover
                                                                       is adequate. Regularly review your cover to take into
                                                                       consideration renovations, fixtures and additions such as
                                                                       swimming pools, sheds, gazebos, luxury fittings or new
                                                                       appliances.
6                                                              P R E P A R E… S T AY A N D D E F E N D                          7

❑ Prepare an emergency kit. As a minimum, your kit             ❑ Know where to access information on high risk
    should contain the following:                                  bush fire days – keep contacts such as:
    For the family:                                                • FESA Emergency Public Information Line
    • Battery powered AM/FM radio plus spare batteries                 1300 657 209
    • A torch                                                      • FESA website
    • Woollen blankets
                                                                       www.fesa.wa.gov.au
                                                                   • ABC Radio
    • First aid kit
                                                                   • Your local government office
    • Insurance papers and personal documents such as wills,
      financial papers and passports                                • Neighbours
    • Photos                                                       • Consider joining your local Bush Fire Ready Action Group
                                                                     (BRAG). Contact your local Fire and Emergency Services
    • Can opener
                                                                     Authority (FESA) Regional Office for more information.
    • On the day – add money/credit cards, medications,
      drinking water and food for 24 hours

    For your pets:
    • Basket/cage/leash
    • Dish for water
    • Pet food
    • On the day – add any medications and drinking water

❑ Have protective clothing for the whole family
    close at hand.
8                                                                   P R E P A R E… S T AY A N D D E F E N D                            9


Bush Fire Action Plan
                                                                    What will be the trigger for these people to go early?
                                                                    ...................................................

Planning to Stay and Defend                                         ...................................................
                                                                    ...................................................
Use the following plan as a guide to develop a Bush Fire
                                                                    ...................................................
Action Plan that is suitable for your family and personal
                                                                    ...................................................
situation. You may wish to sketch a plan of your house
                                                                    What action will you need to take if some family members are at
and property to help you identify hazardous areas and
                                                                    school or work?
plan actions to reduce the risks.                                   ...................................................

Family Considerations                                               ...................................................

This Bush Fire Action Plan is for the following people: (List all   ...................................................
household members).                                                 ...................................................
...................................................
                                                                    ...................................................
...................................................
                                                                    What will you include in your emergency kit and where will it be
...................................................                 stored?
...................................................                 ...................................................
...................................................                 ...................................................

Which family members will go early? (Consider very young            ...................................................
children, elderly and ill family members).                          ...................................................
...................................................
                                                                    ...................................................
...................................................
                                                                    ...................................................
...................................................
                                                                    ...................................................
...................................................
                                                                    ...................................................
Where will they go and how will they get there?                     ...................................................
...................................................
                                                                    ...................................................
...................................................
                                                                    ...................................................
...................................................
                                                                    ...................................................
...................................................
                                                                    ...................................................
10                                                                   P R E P A R E… S T AY A N D D E F E N D                               11

Preparing Your Property                                              Personal Safety
Identify the potential fire risks around your home. (Gaps in roofing   Issues to be considered:
and structure, evaporative air conditioners, vents, chimneys etc.)   How many people will you need to safely defend your home?
...................................................                  ...................................................
...................................................                  Who will be there to provide you with help?
...................................................                  ...................................................
...................................................                  ...................................................

List any modifications you need to make and when.                     ...................................................
...................................................                  ...................................................
...................................................                  List the items of protective clothing you will need for all members
...................................................                  of the family.

...................................................                  ...................................................
                                                                     ...................................................
List any maintenance activities you need to do and when they will
be done. (ie. Creating and maintaining 20m circle of safety.)        ...................................................
...................................................                  ...................................................
...................................................                  Where will you store your protective clothing?
...................................................                  ...................................................
...................................................                  ...................................................

List equipment you will need and where you will store it.            ...................................................
(Hoses, rakes, shovels, etc.)
                                                                     What is your back-up plan if:
...................................................
                                                                     1. One person is home alone?
...................................................                  ...................................................
...................................................                  ...................................................
...................................................                  ...................................................
...................................................
                                                                     2. You are unable to return to your home before the fire to defend
Where is your alternate water supply and how will you access it?        your house (roads blocked)?
...................................................                  ...................................................
...................................................                  ...................................................
...................................................                  ...................................................
12

On the day of a bush fire
List any actions that you will need to take before the fire front   Stay and Defend                                         Outside
                                                                                                                           ❑ Move large animals and livestock to a safe
                                                                                                                                                                                    ❑ Drink plenty of water to avoid becoming
                                                                                                                                                                                        dehydrated.
arrives that are specific to your property.
(That may not be listed in the Stay and Defend Checklist.)         Action Checklist                                            location (as identified in your Bush Fire Action
                                                                                                                               Plan).
                                                                                                                                                                                    ❑ Tune into ABC Radio for reports of the fire.

...................................................                What to do on the day that a bush fire threatens                                                                  After the fire front has passed:
                                                                                                                           ❑ Check your water supplies around the house – fill       ❑ Ensure all family members continue to wear
...................................................
                                                                   Have you maintained the required level of preparation       any additional containers that might be available.
...................................................
                                                                                                                                                                                        protective clothing.
                                                                   around your property? If no, Go Early.                  ❑ Bring outdoor furniture, mats and any other loose
...................................................                                                                                                                                 ❑ Check the house thoroughly for spot fires both
                                                                                                                               items inside.
                                                                                                                                                                                        inside and outside when it is safe to do so.
...................................................                Before the fire front arrives:
                                                                                                                           ❑ Wet down the side of the house and surrounding         ❑ Check for embers or signs of smoke in places
...................................................
...................................................
                                                                   Inside                                                      garden area that is facing the fire. Leave
                                                                                                                               reticulation running (if installed).
                                                                                                                                                                                        such as the roof cavity, under house spaces, and
                                                                                                                                                                                        around verandas, wooden decking, stairs, window
                                                                   ❑ Implement your Bush Fire Action Plan.
                                                                                                                           ❑ If possible, block downpipes and fill gutters with          sills and doorways. Also check sheds, carports
What action will you take to ensure the safety of your pets and
                                                                   ❑ Safely relocate young children and elderly family         water.                                                   and fences.
livestock?
                                                                       members.
...................................................                                                                        ❑ Regularly patrol for spot fires around your home        ❑ Patrol your home for several hours after the fire
                                                                   ❑ Family members remaining should dress in                  and put them out.                                        for small fires and burning embers.
...................................................
                                                                       protective clothing.
                                                                                                                           ❑ Turn off the mains gas supply to the house and         ❑ Should your house catch fire in the course of
...................................................
                                                                   ❑ Bring pets inside.                                        any LP gas cylinders.                                    the fire front passing and you are unable to
...................................................                                                                                                                                     extinguish it, leave immediately after the fire
                                                                   ❑ Close all doors, windows and shutters.
...................................................                                                                        As the fire front approaches                                  front has passed.
                                                                   ❑ Fill basins, sinks, bath, troughs and buckets with    and during the fire:
...................................................                    water and locate mops and other equipment.                                                                       • Call the fire service on 000.
                                                                                                                           ❑ Take all hoses, hose fittings (including plastic tap        • Move onto a fuel-free area such as a
If you plan to relocate some family members, pets or livestock     ❑ Soak towels and rugs in water and lay along the           attachments) and equipment inside.
and then return to your house, when will this be done and how                                                                                                                             driveway, lawn or onto already burnt ground.
                                                                       inside of external doorways.
long will this take?                                                                                                       ❑ Move yourself and any other remaining members              • Beware of any hazards such as burning logs
                                                                   ❑ Soak blankets and keep them handy for protection          of the family into the house prior to it becoming          or materials.
...................................................
                                                                       against radiant heat.                                   too hot and smoky to stay outside.
...................................................                                                                                                                                     • Do not return inside the house for any reason.




                                                                                                                                                                                    prepare
                                                                   ❑ Use a moistened mask or cotton cloth to help          ❑ Frequently check the roof cavity (through the
...................................................                    protect against ash.                                    manhole inside the house) for any spot fires.
...................................................                ❑ Place a ladder and torch close to the manhole and     ❑ Stay inside the house while the fire front passes
...................................................                    regularly check the ceiling space for embers.           by, keeping watch for any spot fires inside the
...................................................                ❑ Keep electricity on but maintain awareness of             house.

...................................................                    electrical safety at all times.
prepare
 FESA House
 480 Hay Street
 PERTH WA 6000
 Telephone: (08) 9323 9300
 Facsimile: (08) 9323 9495
 Website: www.fesa.wa.gov.au
 Published: October 2005
 Upon request, this information can be made available in
 alternative formats such as large type, audio tape, Braille
 or another language.
 FESA wishes to thank the CFA for allowing reproduction
 from the document Living in the Bush – bushfire survival
 plan workbook.

				
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