Summer in Australia is associated with beach holidays, fun and Christmas, but it’s also the season when the risk of bushfire is greatest.

Bushfire season is fast approaching, so now’s the time to assess your risks, prepare your property and decide on an action plan in the event of a blaze.

Risk factors for property damage

As well as hot weather, there are several factors that increase the risk of property damage from bushfires. These include:

  • Proximity to bush and grass – if you live near bush, scrub or grasslands the risk of being impacted by bushfire is greater.
  • Sloping topography – fire will spread at twice the speed for each 10 degrees of upward slope. This means if you live near or at the top of a hill, your risk may be greater.
  • Winds – strong winds increase oxygen levels which can increase fire intensity. Wind also allows hot embers to be carried further.

Once you know the factors that increase the risk it becomes easier to prepare your property. It’s also important to put a bushfire action plan in place for your household.

Preparing your property

  • When designing your garden, consider the types of plants you put in as some are more prone to ignition than others. Higher-risk plants include those with coarse bark, dense foliage or waxy leaves containing volatile oils.
  • Mow lawns and keep them less than 10cm high, as grassfires can spread rapidly.
  • Prune trees and shrubs and remove overhanging branches.
  • Create a defensible space around your home. This includes removing all flammable materials from near the building – such as wood piles, dead vegetation, outdoor furniture and volatile chemicals.
  • Clear gutters of leaves, twigs and debris.
  • If you are alerted to a fire in your area, turn on your garden sprinklers.

Make sure your insurance is in place

Insurance cover should form part of your risk management plan. Insurance provides a layer of financial protection so that you can do repairs or rebuild after fire and replace any lost or damaged contents.

Being uninsured (or under-insured) for home and contents could leave you in a perilous financial position in the event of fire or another catastrophe.

At Reliance Partners, our dedicated insurance team can help you find the right policy for your property. We also provide fast turnaround times for claims, and assistance with handling any claims so you can get the most from your policy.

To discuss home and contents cover for your property, book an assessment session with your nearest Reliance Partner.