Bushfires in Western Australian continue to rage with the area of Northcliffe declared a natural disaster zone. While summer is close to being over, buying a home in an area known for bushfires means that you need to always be prepared. One of the best things you can do to protect your home against fire is to call a plumbing service, and here are three reasons why.
It is a well known fact that you should keep your gutters clear of debris as these can act as fuel for a fire if it gets too close to your home. However, a plumber can help you to install gutter guards which will give you even further protection:
- Gutter guards made of steel mesh will keep the debris from getting into your gutter in the first place. The steel mesh will survive in a fire as it does not burn like the plastic equivalent will.
- Your plumber will make sure that there is not more than a 2 mm gap between the edge of the gutter guard and the edge of your roof. It is important that the gap is no larger than this as embers can get under the roof and start a fire within your ceiling cavity.
- While the plumber is installing the gutter guards, they can also install ember guards. These block any small spaces around the roof eaves that could let the embers into the ceiling space.
Once the gutter guards are in place, it is time for your plumber to install external sprinklers. There are three ways that your home can be threatened by a bushfire, and they are:
- The heat that comes before the fire arrives.
- The actual flames of the fire.
- Burning embers getting into your home and starting an internal burn.
There are two ways that external sprinklers can protect your home from these three threats:
- Mounting sprinklers on the roof of the home: These will protect the whole dwelling by pouring water over the roof that then cascades down the external walls of the home.
- Mounting sprinklers in the ground around the perimeter of the home: The water from these sprinklers will keep the grass and plants around the home wet, and this means there is less fuel for the fire to feed on before it gets to the house. When there is no bushfire threat these sprinklers can double as an irrigation system.
Pump And Pipe Preparation
If you are off the suburban grid and your water supply comes from on site tanks, then your water is being fed to the house via a pump. If the fire takes out your electricity, do you have a backup plan when your pump no longer works?
Your plumber can help you design a secondary water moving system that uses a gas generator to power the backup pump. This backup pump and generator should be housed inside a concrete dwelling as concrete will not burn when a bushfire passes over it. It is important that all pipes connected to this pump are buried underground so that they do not become fuel for a fire.
The more prepared you are to protect your home from bush fires, the better your chances of having a building to come home to after a fire moves through the area. Your plumber has plenty of good advice about building protection, so listen to their ideas. At the end of the day, however, the most important thing to protect during a fire is your family. If you need to flee, then do so, and allow your plumbing systems to protect your home for you. The house can be replaced but your family cannot be.