Rural areas face a high risk from fire because it often takes longer for fires to be detected and emergency responses can take a longer time to arrive. Here's a quick and easy checklist you can use to spot any risks or hazards that might cause a fire.
Outside the home
- Make sure your Rural Address Property Identification (RAPID) Number or road/street number is displayed in a place that's clearly visible to emergency vehicles.
- Have an easy way for emergency vehicles to access the property.
- Establish priority zones around your property to reduce the risk of fire damaging your home.
- Have a fire-fighting water supply that is accessible in an emergency, and clearly indicated.
- If possible keep the lawn is mown and watered to reduce the risk of a vegetation fire (this may not be feasible during a drought).
- Don't stack firewood against a dwelling or farm building, or under decks.
- Keep trees and branches at least 3 metres clear of power lines. If they aren't, talk to your local power authority.
- Keep paddocks around farm buildings and yards are well grazed and not overgrown.
- Make sure hay is dry before baling and stacking to prevent spontaneous combustion.
Machinery and fuel
- Store any petrol, diesel fuels and chemicals in single-purpose locations.
- Store rubbish, oily rags, firewood and anything else that could fuel a fire correctly and away from ignition sources.
- Maintain all machinery hand make sure it has an appropriate exhaust system, installed to manufacturer specifications.
- Clean machinery regularly to ensure belly pans and spaces around motors are free of oil, dust, grease, grass and straw.
- Check there are no birds’ nests in or around machinery.
- Make sure you have suitable fire extinguishers fitted in farm buildings and on machinery.