News

Protect your home from bushfires with these easy tips

Helen and Ross Pye of Ashby with a hose run from their own fire-fighting pump. Photo: Adam Hourigan
Helen and Ross Pye of Ashby with a hose run from their own fire-fighting pump. Photo: Adam Hourigan

THE thought of a bushfire sweeping through their rural property terrifies Ashby residents Ross and Helen Pye.

As a former volunteer firefighter with 15 years service, Ross has plenty of first-hand experience in seeing the dramatic effects of bushfire, which is why he has taken extra precautions to ensure his home has the best chance of surviving one.

Two years ago the couple installed a roof-top sprinkler system on their home, using readily available polypipe.

Costing less than $200, in the event of an emergency the system is designed to flood the gutters simply by turning on a tap.

The sprinklers keep the gutters wet and dampen the ground around the home for added protection.

"What many people don't realise is that embers can travel several kilometres ahead of the fire," said Ross.

"And when hot embers land in gutters full of leaf litter, it's very easy for a fire to start. A roof-top system is a simple thing that affords enormous protection to the house and in my opinion, using polypipe is a very cheap way of doing it."

He said metal pipe was an alternative to polypipe, but as it required professional installation and cost thousands of dollars, he believed most households could not afford it.

"Unfortunately a metal pipe system is out of reach for most people and they simply won't do it."

While admitting there's a risk of the polypipe melting under extreme heat, he said as long as it was carrying water, it would need to be a very high temperature.

The couple have invested in a 5hp fire fighting pump with 50m of hose, which allows water to be pumped directly from a bore on site.

He advised getting a back-up generator for the pump in case power was cut.

"When buying a pump it's important to think about what happens if power is lost - if that happens with an electric pump and the home doesn't have a back-up generator, you're buggered," he said.

His bushfire plan includes keeping goggles and a face mask to protect eyes and lungs from smoke.

More information on preparing for bushfire attack is available from the NSW Rural Fire Service here or from your local RFS base.

Keep embers at bay:

  •  Install metal gutter guards
  •  Repair damaged or missing tiles on the roof
  •  Install fine metal mesh screens on windows and doors
  •  Fit seals around doors and windows to eliminate gaps
  •  Enclose the areas under the house
  •  Repair or cover gaps in external walls
  •  Attach a fire sprinkler system to gutters

Source: Bush Fire Safety fact sheet / NSW Rural Fire Service

Topics:  bushfire, protection, safety




Spring weather: What can we expect on the Northern Rivers?

MONTHLY climate outlook  for Spring from the Bureau of Meteorology

It's been a wet winter, but spring has different plans

New gym for Lismore in the works

FRONT: Plans for the South Lismore motorbike business to be changed to a gym.

Plans include a one-on-one consulting area and two large gym spaces.

'Inadequate staffing' could affect patient, staff safety

OPENING SOON: Workmen were busy on site at Lismore Base Hospital, with the emergency department due to open on Thursday.

The new ED will open on Thursday, but will it have extra staff?

Latest deals and offers

Falls Festival tickets go on sale today

Cold War Kids wow audiences at Falls Festival in Byron Bay despite the soaring tempratures and humidity. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

We've got all the details you need to make sure you don't miss out

Gladstone couple's spontaneous Gympie Muster wedding

Craig Oglesby and Brenda Strong celebrate their wedding at the Gympie Muster with punters in front of the Main Stage.

The Gympie Music Muster was the perfect place for a wedding.

Australian Survivor's Peter: I'm no quitter

Australian Survivor contestant Peter Fiegehen.

ILLNESS forces castaway's early exit from Samoa.

Diva's sister on soliciting charge

FILE - In this May 14, 2016 file photo, Mariah Carey attends the 27th Annual GLAAD Media Awards, in New York. Carey will appear on the Oct. 5 episode of the Fox series, \"Empire,\" the network confirmed Monday at a TV critics bi-annual press tour. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)

Mariah Carey's sister has been arrested on charges of prostitution.

Tom Cruise private jets his gym kit around the world

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise charters private to take his gym kit around the world

Movie behind Depp and Heard split to be released

Soon you'll be able to see the movie that ended the marriage

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.

Take a sneak peek at this $19m Whitsunday mansion

Mandalay House features a private helipad.

Mandalay is currently on the market with an asking price of $19m