More than one third* of Queensland householders would not know what do to if their home came under threat of a bushfire, according to new research from RACQ.
RACQ’s 2015 Bushfire Preparedness Index also revealed nearly half of all Queenslanders (47 percent) said they had witnessed others ignoring total fire bans while nearly nine percent (8.9) admitted to often ignoring total fire bans themselves.
With the bushfire season now underway, RACQ Executive Manager Insurance Communications Mike Sopinski said it was disturbing how many Queenslanders were unprepared.
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“It’s crucial those living in vulnerable communities have a bushfire survival plan in place so they know how to protect themselves and safeguard their property in case of a bushfire,” Mr Sopinski said.
“Residents should set out precisely how they and their family will respond to a bushfire emergency.”
Mr Sopinski said it was also concerning how many householders were failing to prepare their properties, with many not clearing gutters (32 percent) and not trimming tree branches and foliage (27 percent).
“Flying embers are a major cause of homes catching fire in bushfires and with little or no rain, leaves and other materials built up in gutters become very dry and brittle, and act as readily ignitable fuel for embers,” he said.
The research also revealed almost half of all householders surveyed (42 percent) believed current weather conditions had made their homes a greater fire risk.
“This finding is not surprising given approximately 80 percent of Queensland is currently in drought and the strengthening El
Nino effect is raising the prospects of above average bushfire risks.”
As part of the RACQ Get Ready campaign, Queenslanders were urged to prepare their properties:
Prepare a Bushfire Survival Plan
Mow the lawn regularly
Remove dry grass, dead leaves and branches from yards
Move any flammable items such as wood piles away from the house
Trim low-lying branches
Keep gutters clear of leaf litter
Know the fire risk in your local area
Check and adhere to local fire restrictions.
For more information on how you can protect your home against storms, floods and fires, visit www.getready.qld.gov.au or visit your local RACQ branch.