Daylight savings a good reminder to prepare home for fire season

Living Well | Peter Nugent | Posted on 05 October 2019

The start of daylight savings is a reminder to make sure your home is bushfire ready. 

On Sunday 6 October, Victorians will put their clocks forward one hour to mark the start of daylight saving, a ritual that also signals the approach of those long hot summer days.

It’s also a good time to think about fire preparedness if you live in a bushfire-prone area – that’s any home located near grasslands, bush, a forest or even coastal scrub.

Roof gutter tiles filled with dried leaves and debris

 

How to prepare your home for bushfire season 

Start with the basics:

  • Clean all debris, twigs and leaves out of your gutters. 
  • Mow your grass, front and back, regularly.
  • Cut back overgrown bushes on your property.
  • Tidy up your garden, removing rubbish and flammable materials. 
  • Check and repair any firefighting equipment.
  • Make sure your home insurance policy is up to date and that you have the right level of insurance. The worst time to find out you're underinsured is when you need to make a claim.
  • Make a fire plan, write it down, and leave it somewhere easy to find... any plan is better than no plan.

This last step is probably the most important. In any emergency, especially during a bushfire, it is easy to become confused and potentially to panic.

If you have a clear written plan, that everybody in your household is aware of and has practised, it’s easier to avoid any fire danger.

The best strategy is to leave early. If you know there’s the risk of fire in your area, and before you can smell smoke or see flames, head for shelter. Click here fore more information on bushfire driving.

Things to consider when making a fire plan, include:

  • What time will you leave?
  • Where will you go?
  • What route will you take? (Do you have an alternative route?)
  • What will you take? (Passport, important documents, treasured possessions?)

In case of emergency...

  • Local radio is a good way to stay informed about fire warnings, updates and changing traffic conditions.
  • Always tell someone, such as relatives outside the area, when you’re leaving and where you’re going.
  • Is there anyone else nearby who you need to help or check up on?
  • Don’t forget to have a fire plan for your pets, too. Have enough carry cases, food and water for your furry, feathery or finned friends.
  • If you’re not sure where to start, go to the CFA website.
     

Remember to turn the clock forward

  • Daylight Savings Time starts on 6 October at 2am, when the new local standard time will be 3am, instead. 
  • Most phones will automatically update but remember to adjust the time on your watch, digital car display or other manual time-telling devices. 
  • Sunrise and sunset will be about 1 hour later on 6 October than the day before to allow more light in the evening.