Living in Queensland comes with the ever-present threat of bushfires. When a bushfire is actively threatening your strata community, it’s crucial to have a well-coordinated plan in place to ensure the safety of residents and protect property. In this article, we will discuss the key steps that Queensland strata communities should take during a bushfire crisis.
1. Prioritise Resident Safety
The safety of residents is the utmost priority during a bushfire. When authorities issue evacuation orders, strata communities must ensure that residents are promptly informed and directed to safe evacuation routes and assembly points. A well-communicated emergency plan, including designated fire wardens and a system for accounting for all residents, is essential. Evacuation is the safest course of action when a bushfire is directly threatening the property, as firefighting capabilities may be limited, and the fire’s behaviour can be unpredictable.
2. Protecting Property
While ensuring the safety of residents is paramount, protecting the property should also be a concern. Here are some steps that strata communities can take to safeguard their property:
- Shut Off Utilities: Quickly shut off gas supplies and disconnect electricity to reduce the risk of fire-related accidents.
- Secure Flammable Materials: Identify and secure flammable materials around the property, such as gas cylinders or flammable liquids.
- Seal the Property: Close all doors and windows to prevent embers from entering the building.
- Activate Sprinkler Systems: If the property is equipped with sprinkler systems, activate them to wet down the exterior of the buildings. This can help create a moisture barrier that makes it harder for embers to ignite.
- Clear Debris: If safe to do so, residents can help clear debris and dry vegetation from around the property to reduce potential fuel for the fire.
3. Stay Informed and Communicate
Effective communication during a bushfire crisis is vital. Strata communities should remain in close contact with firefighting authorities and other emergency services to receive real-time updates and guidance. This ensures that your community can make informed decisions and adapt to changing circumstances.
4. Document and Insure
Before a bushfire season begins, it’s advisable for strata communities to document their properties and possessions, keeping a record of valuable items and property features. Adequate insurance coverage is also essential to ensure financial protection in case of fire-related damage. Review insurance policies regularly to guarantee that they cover all potential risks associated with bushfires.
Bushfires are a significant concern in Queensland, and strata communities must take steps to prepare for these events and respond effectively when they occur. The safety of residents should always be the top priority, followed by property protection, staying informed, and maintaining adequate insurance coverage. By following these guidelines, Queensland strata communities can better navigate the challenges posed by bushfires and protect their residents and property.