Bushfires would catch many Qlders out: RACQ

More than 30 percent of Queenslanders admitted they would be caught out not knowing what to do if a bushfire threatened their home, according to disturbing new RACQ research.

RACQ spokesperson Renee Smith said the insurance survey also found almost 20 percent of respondents thought the current state of their home made it a fire risk.

“Frankly this is shocking to discover, especially in the middle of bushfire season when a whopping 84 percent of Queensland is currently drought declared,” Ms Smith said.

“Bushfire survival plans are vital to saving lives and we urge people to take the time to ensure both their property and family are protected should a bushfire approach.”

Ms Smith said an alarming number of people were not complying with basic bushfire safety measures.

“It appears bushfire preventative messages failing to get through, with more than 80 percent of people declaring they had seen other motorists throw cigarette butts from car windows and more than 47 percent witnessing others ignore total fire bans,” she said.

Ms Smith said preparing your property was crucial, and urged the 32 percent of people who admitted to not clearing their gutters and 24 percent who didn’t trim back tree branches and foliage to get on with the job.

“Being bushfire-ready is the key to survival and keeping up with chores that clear fuel sources from around your home could save your life and your belongings,” she said.

Tips for bushfire preparedness include:
 Preparing a bushfire survival plan
 Mowing the lawn regularly
 Removing dry grass, dead leaves and branches from yards
 Moving any flammable items such as wood piles away from the house
 Trimming low-lying branches
 Keeping gutters clear of leaf litter
 Knowing the fire risk in your local area
 Checking and adhering to local fire restrictions.

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