Get ready for bushfire season in the Northern Districts

The Northern Districts are surrounded by beautiful bushland. While this makes the area lovely to live in, it also means taking extra precautions in the hotter months against bushfire.

We are now facing hotter, drier summers as a result of climate change, and with this comes an increased risk of bushfire.

There is lots of information about how to stay fire-safe available online, and I’ve added some links and contact numbers at the bottom of this blog. Here are some key ways you can protect your home and your family during bushfire season — and year round.

Talk with your family about what to do in an emergency

The NSW Rural Fire Service recommends sitting down with your family and going through what you will do in the event of a fire. This includes talking through the escape routes out of your house (and practising them), and working out a safe meeting place outside your home. Planning your exit routes in advance will reduce panic and confusion in the case of a real emergency.

Check your smoke alarms

The risk of a fire-related fatality is halved if there is a working smoke alarm in your home. This is why every house is now required by law to have an alarm on every level. Check that yours is working and if you don’t have one, book an electrician to come and install one for you. If you are asleep, you won’t smell smoke, which is why an alarm is essential.

Fire prevention in the garden

By keeping your garden free of debris, including overhanging branches, bushy shrubs (especially close to the house) and rubbish, including leaf litter, you can protect your home from spot fires. And don’t forget to clear out your gutters and keep your lawns short to reduce the fuel that can help a fire spread more easily.

Your garden hose or hoses should be long enough to cover all of your outdoor areas. This will ensure you can put out any spot fires easily, should you need to.

Keep your exit routes clear and accessible

It’s good practice to keep exits clear of bikes, boxes and any other clutter. Keeping door and window keys close to their locks is another way of ensuring you can get out of your home easily in an emergency situation.

And remember, if you live in an apartment block, always use the stairs and not the lift in a fire evacuation.

Cooking and barbecues

Half of the 4500 house fires in NSW start in the kitchen, mostly due to unattended cooking. In summer, when barbecues are a great way to socialise and keep the house cool, be sure to check your barbecue’s gas connection. It should be tightly fitted and the hose should be in good condition. Also check that the gas cylinder hasn’t expired.

If you’re going on holidays

Before you go away, ensure all appliances are turned off and your smoke alarm is working. This will alert your neighbours in case of a house fire.

Check your home insurance is up to date and double-check what coverage you have in case of a house fire.

A final useful tip is to ensure your house number is clear and easy to see so emergency services can find your home easily — hopefully they will never need to.

Some useful websites

NSW Fire and Rescue:
Bushfire safety information:
Contact: 1800 NSW RFS (1800 679 737)


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Karen Page
Friendly, caring and attentive, Karen Page is a customer focused professional with a genuine passion for helping people transition through the different stages of their life.