Property managers have been urged to provide landlords and tenants with tips on how to keep their properties safe ahead of a hotter-than-average summer.
A new report from the Bureau of Meteorology has indicated warmer than average temperatures for southern Australia, with below-average rainfall across parts of Victoria, NSW and the tropics.
According to the Bureau, warmer daytime temperatures are likely along much of the coast of southern and eastern Australia, while overnight temperatures are likely to be warmer across most of the country.
Julie Humphries, principal of Raine & Horne Helensburgh, said homeowners should have some plans in place prior to the start of summer, but it’s never too late to protect your property.
“If you don’t do anything else, be sure to clean out the gutters and other roof fittings, which collect leaves and other garden flotsam and jetsam,” she said.
"Garden waste is extremely flammable when it dries out and will prove a magnet for flying embers.”
According to Ms Humphries, trees with overhanging branches are another potential fire hazard.
“If you can’t chop the trees back yourself, commission a gardener or arborist to prune them back from your house,” she said.
“It also pays to keep the lawn trimmed and to take a rake to any piles of leaves lying around. Dead leaves represent a major hazard should a bushfire start up in your neighbourhood.”
Ray Noonan, principal of Raine & Horne Nelson Bay, said homeowners should have at least one hose that reaches the perimeter of their property and ensure that hoses and tap fittings are in working order.
“Also, have a look around your home for any recycling materials, such as flammable liquids or paint close to the house, as these items can also fuel a fire,” he said.
“Gas bottles used to fuel barbecues should be kept in a fire safe place, and also be very careful about using a barbecue in blustery bushfire conditions.”
Mr Noonan also suggested that anyone living in close proximity to national parks and bushland should encourage their neighbours to be active about bushfire prevention.
“Likewise, if there is bushland or national parkland near residential homes, it would be wise to contact your local council to make sure there is a firebreak cleared or maintained to help protect homes in your neighbourhood.”