Fire authorities across Australia are bracing for a challenging bushfire season this summer due to severe drought conditions. Australians are urged to start preparing their homes, properties and evacuation plans as early as possible.

Because of very warm and dry conditions and below average rainfall, the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre has warned Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and parts of Western Australia and South Australia of above normal potential fire threat.

Is your home and property prepared for the bushfire season?

There are a lot of ways on how you can prepare for a bushfire, but here are a few general tips:

1. Regularly check and maintain fire safety equipment
It’s essential that you have working safety equipment such as a smoke alarm and fire extinguishers. Upgrade or replace fire alarms that are more than 10 years old.

2. Prepare a bushfire survival plan
If you don’t have a bushfire survival plan yet, create one immediately. Brief your family members so they understand what to do and where to go in case of emergency.

3. Build an Asset Protection Zone (APZ)
Compliance with APZ requirements increase the safety of the residents in your community and emergency respondents in case of bushfire. Seek the professional help of reputable arborists for slashing, firebreaks, asset protection or emergency access services.

4. Clean gutters from twigs and leaves
Dead twigs and leaves are common ways for a fire to spread quickly. Clean your gutters, drains and pipes of debris before the bushfire season.