Bushfires are a common seasonal threat in Australia, especially in states such as Western Australia. However, findings from a university survey suggest that property owners in the region can reduce the threat of bushfires by taking some simple precautions.
Charis Anton, a PhD candidate at the University of Western Australia’s School of Psychology, interviewed a selection of people in rural areas of the state – and who deliberately chose to live there. She found that the natural environment surrounding their property was a strong factor that drew them to reside outside of urban centres.
As such, insight from the survey also shows that residents of Perth Hills and other rural regions tend to avoid cutting down trees and other vegetation near their house in order to maintain this natural aesthetic. This is despite the advice of emergency services to do so, to reduce the bushfire threat.
Ms Anton revealed some worrying feedback from survey respondents about their attitudes to bushfires.
“People sometimes had unrealistic ideas about bushfires, in some cases saying they would cut down a tree only if a fire was approaching,” she noted.
“People new to these places may not have much knowledge of bushfires – yet bushfires are happening more often.”
Those owning property in rural areas at high risk of bushfire are therefore advised to follow the advice from the study, and keep their property free of vegetation as much as possible. The Department of Fire and Emergency Services also offered some other pointers, such as cleaning out gutters and installing sprinklers and shutters.
In addition to these measures, it’s also a sensible idea to secure adequate investment property insurance to keep you covered. The right policy will help mitigate the financial loss should a bushfire affect your investment home.