Gutter protection is one of the most effective ways of keeping your house safe during the bushfire season. If you live in an area surrounded by forest, but also vegetation such as paddocks, bush, grasslands or even in a coastal landscape, your house might be in danger of fire.
If your house is far away from where a bushfire originated, your house might still be in danger. When a bushfire occurs, it can quickly escalate. As the fire moves forward, burning leaves and twigs are carried by the wind. In windy conditions, fire gets pushed onwards and also gets fresh oxygen for combustion, making burning material spread to dangerous and unpredictable lengths.
So why are embers so dangerous? Your residence area might not be directly exposed to a bushfire prone region, however embers can travel many kilometres ahead of a fire -sometimes hundreds of kilometres- and land on flammable material, causing small fires to start. If your house doesn’t have a gutter protection system in place, chances are your house gutters are clogged by fallen leaves, twigs and debris. Because of their flammable nature they can easily be ignited if embers land on them, starting a fire that could end up burning your whole house to the ground.
How do ember guards protect your home from a bushfire
Ember attack is the main cause of house loss in a bushfire, occurring before, during and after the fire front passes. By installing a gutter protection system, you can reduce the risk of embers starting spot fires around your home. The CSIRO tested Leaf Stopper will not burn and ensures flammable leaves do not remain on your roof and start a potential fire.
A practical example of how Leaf Stopper's ember guard saved a house
We installed Ember Guards in this client's house in The Blue Mountains. That year, this region was hit by the worst natural disaster in its history -a series of bushfires, burnt hundreds of houses to the ground and destroyed hundreds of lives. The fire began in Springwood and quickly spread to other areas, destroying 185 homes. Significant damage was sustained by 132 more homes.
Our client's house was one of the few houses standing after the fire. The pictures below were sent to us to prove that something that seems as trivial as installing an ember guard protection system could actually save your home and all the memories built in and around it. The first one, shows the Ember Guard Protection System that Leaf Stopper installed for them. Our ski-slope system allows for leaves to blow away while water is captured. Our system doesn’t just shift the problem to another part of your roof or gutter.
The following video and pictures show the devastating landscape after the fire was extinguished. As you can see, our client's neighbours lost their homes to the fire. The pictures also show how close the fire got to the house.( Check source of the news here )
Ember proof your house and relax
Being in constant fire alert mood can be exhausting and stressful. Authorities recommend paying attention to your local radio and TV stations as well as monitoring different websites and social media pages on hot, dry and windy days. This means you will have to be aware of potential fires at all times - specially during bushfire season and if you live in a fire prone area.
Because of the unpredictable nature of embers and the way they travel by the wind, keeping your house safe could become a very overwhelming task. Ideally, your gutters should always be clean. This might be a challenge for many people because of the difficulty this task presents. Having a gutter protection in place is the perfect answer to clean gutters, and requires minimal maintenance.
Additional bushfire protection strategies
There are many different measures we can do inside a home to prevent a fire, however making your house safe on the outside could be a more challenging task. Here’s some advice on how to protect your house from a bushfire:
- If you have leaves lying around the surroundings of your house, rake them up and dispose them where they are less likely to catch fire.
- If you use firewood for your fireplace and store it outside, make sure you move it well away from the house.
- If you have any crevices or gaps on the external facade of your home, such as broken roof tiles or underneath the verandah, patch them up. They are the perfect place for embers to get in and burn down your home.
- Store flammable liquids, such as petrol and kerosene away from your house.
If you have any other questions or require more information regarding ember guards, get in touch with Leaf Stopper today