Bushfire planning critical for property owners as weather warms up

Media release - 7th November, 2016

Bushfires constantly create a serious risk to life, the environment and properties located in rural and urban areas, according to Angus Raine, Executive Chairman of Raine & Horne.

“The risk of bushfire increases as the mercury jumps in the warmer months, especially with the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) predicting a hotter than average summer for many part of Australia, including Western Australia and Tasmania,” said Mr Raine.

“There is very little we can do about our harsh summer climate, however there is plenty we can do to ensure our homes are safe this bushfire season, whether we live on Sydney’s leafy North Shore or near a major National Park,” said Mr Raine.

Ray Noonan, Principal of Raine & Horne Nelson Bay, where bushfires have been known to cut off residents on the Port Stephens Peninsula in the past, says there are a number of tips that could prove to be very worthwhile in protecting your property from bushfires this summer.

“Make sure you have at least one garden hose that reaches the perimeter of your property and make sure all hoses and tap fittings are in good working order. There would be nothing worse than facing up to a bushfire with a hose that’s faulty or isn’t long enough to reach the fire,” he said.

While many homeowners are attempting to do the right thing by recycling newspapers and cardboard, these items need to be safely contained as they are highly combustible if a bushfire strikes at your property.

“Also have a look around your home for any recycling materials such as flammable liquids or paint close to your house, as these items can also fuel a fire,” said Mr Noonan.

“Gas bottles used to fuel barbecues should be kept in a fire safe place, and also be very careful about using a barbecue in blustery bushfire conditions.

“It may be worthwhile sharing these suggestions with your neighbours so that everyone is well prepared for the summer season.”

Chris Hopkins, Principal of Raine & Horne Hornsby agrees: “Don’t be afraid to talk to your neighbours about their plans and precautions for bushfire season, as you may find yourselves in the firing line together.

“There are 30,000 hectares of bushland in Hornsby Shire, much of it close to properties, so bushfire management is an important task.

“Therefore, if there is bushland or national parkland near residential homes, it would be wise to contact your local council to make sure there is a firebreak cleared or maintained to help protect homes in your neighbourhood.” 

Julie Humphries, Principal of Raine & Horne Helensburgh, located at the southern end of the Royal National Park, says homeowners should have some plans in place prior to the start of summer, but it’s never too late to protect your property.

“If you don’t do anything else, be sure to clean out the gutters and other roof fittings, which collect leaves and other garden flotsam and jetsam. Garden waste is extremely flammable when it dries out and will prove a magnet for flying embers,” said Ms Humphries.

“If you have a woodpile left over from winter, be sure to locate it well away from the house, as it’s another great source of fuel for a bushfire.”

Trees with overhanging branches are another potential fire hazard, according to Ms Humphries.

“If you can’t chop the trees back yourself, commission a gardener or arborist to prune them back from your house,” she said.

“It also pays to keep the lawn trimmed and to take a rake to any piles of leaves lying around. Dead leaves represent a major hazard should a bushfire start up in your neighbourhood.”

BREAKOUT – Top Tips for Property Owners this Bushfire Season

  • Clean leaves out of gutters and roof fittings
  • Ensure woodpiles are located away from your dwelling
  • Cut back trees with overhanging branches
  • Invest in a hose which reaches your property’s perimeter
  • Ensure recyclable and flammable materials are safely contained
  • Talk to your neighbours about bushfire prevention plans
  • Contact your local council about maintaining firebreak corridors 


For further media information contact:

Angus Raine, Executive Chairman, Raine & Horne on 0409 920 697

Andrew Harrington, National Communications Manager, Raine & Horne, on 02 9258 5400