Blue Mountains News

Building Community Resilience through Bushfire Preparation

Source: Blue Mountains Economic Enterprise
Posted: 27 Aug 2019
If you’re living in a bushfire prone area – that’s all of Blue Mountains residents – then now is the time to get ready and prepare your home for the warm and dry bushfire season ahead.

Find all the information you need this Saturday, 7 September at the 5th Bushfire Building Community Day, Forum and Expo at the Blue Mountains Theatre and Community Hub in Springwood from 10am – 3pm. The event is free and family-friendly with plenty to keep everyone engaged.

At this year's Community Day, experts from the NSW RFS and other bushfire professionals will share essential knowledge, tips and advice for people to prepare their homes ahead of the bushfire season and for those looking to build a new home, renovate or extend their current property to BAL (Bushfire Attack Level) requirements.

The Community Forum will provide a rare opportunity to hear and ask questions from the NSW RFS, architects, builders and other industry experts. There’s also the opportunity to meet and talk with industry exhibitors at the Expo including bushfire consultants, BMCC, bushfire rated building materials providers, and many more.

Kids will be kept happy with plenty of indoor and outdoor activities including an adventure playground, building toys, and displays by the NSW Rural Fire Service.

Springwood resident, Chris Mein, said he found the Bushfire Building Community Day invaluable when preparing to renovate his family home, situated in a BAL-40 fire zone.

“The 2013 Winmalee fires taught us how the beautiful bush we treasure can also be a very real threat to our homes and lives,” Mr Mein said. “In the aftermath of the fire, the stories of jaw dropping building quotes and costs alerted us to think more about building in the Blue Mountains. We knew we eventually had to extend and renovate our home or move. The question had to be answered: ‘At what cost to us?’ And, ‘what are the design limitations?’

“I went to the Community Day to find some answers and I wasn’t disappointed. I left armed with a wealth of information and felt ready to seriously take on our home extension and renovation project.

“The build's end result gives us a real boost in confidence that our home and lives will be more likely saved in the event of a bushfire. You can never be prepared enough. Get along to the Community Day and find that lesson that could save your home or life, or that of someone else.”

Director of Community Resilience for the NSW RFS, Corey Shackleton, said not to let complacency get in the way of being prepared.

“For a community to build bushfire resilience, residents and property owners must be engaged and this is an integral part of the process in bushfire management,” Mr Shackleton said. “A well-prepared home means you are more likely to survive a bushfire. It’s easier for you or firefighters to defend and is less likely to put your neighbours' homes at risk. It will also give you more protection if a fire suddenly threatens and you cannot leave.”

“The Community Day is the perfect opportunity to get all the information you need. You’ll leave feeling well-informed about how to prepare your property for the event of a bushfire.”


5th Bushfire Building Community Day, Forum and Expo

Date:
Saturday, 7 September, 2019

Time:
10am – 3pm

Venue:
Blue Mountains Theatre and Community Hub, Macquarie Road, Springwood

 
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