Tips for Summer Storms and Blazing Bushfires

For property owners who enjoy the ambiance of the leafy suburbs you should be mindful of the summer storms and bushfires that can wreak havoc.

Some simple preplanning and good organisation can keep your home safe during unexpected weather.

While our beautiful trees provide shade and give character to our streets and backyards, they can also be a potential danger. If your street trees are looking sickly or branches are overhanging your roofline or powerlines now might be a good time to contact your local council to have them adequately trimmed.

The same vigilance should be applied to your backyard trees. If any trees have hollows, are at the end of their lifespan or damaged from borers then they will be far more vulnerable in inclement weather. Left unattended to these trees could potentially endanger your home and loved ones in the event of a gusty storm or cyclone.

You should also make it a regular routine to check your gutters and have them cleaned to ensure that leaf litter doesn’t accumulate. Not only will this keep your gutters in great condition for longer, you will be assisting in the protection of your home in the event of a bushfire by minimising the fuel that may be residing in your gutters.

Not to mention, clean gutters also minimises the chance of rust occurring and ensures that the water flow to your downpipes is clear, preventing backflow into your ceiling which then has no choice but to escape via your light fittings, uh oh!

If you’re a new homeowner, research what trees are suitable for your yard. Be mindful that some species are invasive and can cause all kinds of trouble if planted near pipes, drains and sewer lines. Umbrella trees (Schefflera Actinophylla) are notorious for this and in South East Queensland it is now considered an invasive weed.

As we enter our storm season it would be wise to also take some preventative measures. During a high wind storm loose items in your yard have the potential to turn into dangerous projectiles and allowing dry dead leaf litter to build only helps to fuel a burning fire. So a clean and tidy yard will help safeguard you against both fires and storms.

Having your roof inspected to ensure your tiles or corrugated iron sheets are all well secured is a good idea. Wind from storms has incredible power to work its way under anything loose and then it will rattle, vibrate and pull until it rips it out! And don’t forget about the hail, while avoiding all the damage is not often possible we can avoid any internal damage by keeping up a good home maintenance routine.

Even if you’ve taken preventative steps, a lightning strike somewhere off your property may still come roaring towards your home. Having a barrier between your home and any trees can assist in preventing the fire jumping to your roof, which is also why it’s a great idea to keep your gutters clean. The fewer opportunities those embers get to catching something alight the better.

Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, keep that home insurance up to date! Sometimes even our best efforts can’t beat Mother Nature but having insurance sure can ease the damage she does to our wallets!