Preparing your home for bushfire attack

WA BAL Report are committed to preventing loss of property and life from bushfires. WA BAL Report conducts bushfire attack level assessments and bushfire attack level reports to determine your bushfire attack level rating. However, if you live in a bushfire-prone area, it is likely you will be required to do more to prepare yourself for a bushfire.

In a bushfire, houses often catch on fire from embers. Embers are small bits of burning bark and leaves that can be carried long distances by wind. Embers can infiltrate your home by getting through gaps in the roof, walls, evaporative air conditioners, windows and doors. You may be impacted by embers even if you are several kilometres ahead of a fire.

The majority of houses can survive most bushfires with the proper preparation and planning in place. There are steps you can take before the bushfire season commences to prepare your home for bushfire attack and ensure it is as well protected as possible. These include:

  • Reduce fuel levels around the house to limit the amount of things that can burn
  • Maintain a minimum 2 metre gap between trees and the building, and ensure that trees do not overhang your house or shed
  • Keep the grass trimmed short and prune shrubs and trees
  • Rake up leaf litter and twigs under trees, remove bark
  • Do not clump shrubs and trees together – make sure you leave a gap
  • Paths and driveways can be a protective barrier to your house
  • Keep your gutters free of leaves
  • Consider alternatives to mulch, such as paving, rocks, pebbles or brick chips
  • Close in the eaves and other gaps that lead into the roof or under the house, this will prevent sparks from entering the house
  • Install stainless steel open weave mesh cover over your evaporative air conditioner and metal fly screens on windows and vents
  • Close gaps in the roof with sarking
  • Remove or relocate fire traps such as wood heaps, fuel containers, rubbish, overhanging trees and grass and leaves from under decks
  • Keep LP gas cylinders away from the side of the house likely to be approached by the fire and store gas cylinders upright and secured with a metal chain to a secure non-combustible post to prevent cylinders falling over
  • Ensure you have sufficient water on hand. As power supply may be interrupted, if you are accessing water from a water tank, you will need to use a petrol, diesel or electric powered pump (if using an electric pump, you will also require a generator).

On hot, dry days, bushfires can start with no warning, so ensure you are prepared well beforehand and have a plan on what you will do in a bushfire, including deciding whether you will stay and defend or leave early.

For more information

WA BAL Report are experts at conducting Bushfire Attack Level Assessments, Bushfire Attack Level Reports and bushfire prevention strategies in general in Perth and Western Australia. For more information, contact our friendly staff on 08 6114 9356 or at

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