As summer approaches, Fire and Emergency wants people living with a risk of wildfire to act now and protect their homes from the wildfire hazard. This includes people living in rural communities, on lifestyle blocks and near town boundaries or large areas of scrub and bush.
Fire and Emergency Wildfire Specialist Graeme Still says identifying and removing fire risks around your home now will increase your property’s chance of surviving a wildfire.
“Everything within 60 metres from your house can determine how safe it will be in a wildfire.”
“Focus on any fire hazards in contact with your home first. Clear your gutters, get a non-flammable doormat and remove flammable materials like firewood stacked against your home,” says Graeme Still.
“Once you’ve made your home safe, work your way outwards to the edges of your property and include other buildings and sheds”.
“Keep your lawns watered and green – the greener the grass, the less likely it is burn in a wildfire.
“Remove long grass, shrubs, twigs and other fuels that are within ten metres of your home.
“Prune the lower branches on trees within 30 metres of your home to help reduce the intensity and spread of a wildfire.”
As well as making your home and surrounds fire safe, it’s also important to ensure firefighters can access your property if there is a fire.
“If we can’t get to you, we can’t help you,” says Mr Still.
“Make sure your house or RAPID number is easy for emergency services to find and that your driveway has enough clearance for emergency vehicles. Fire trucks need at least 4×4 metres.”
Get more tips on how to keep your home fire safe at https://checkitsalright.nz/reduce-the-risk/safeguarding-your-property.
You can also contact your local Fire and Emergency Area Office for more advice on safeguarding your property or planning a burn for land management.