Ember Attack & Fine Fuels

April 09, 2016

Ember Attack & Fine Fuel Ignition​

In this news article we expand on our seventh news item – Fine Fuel Ignition – and we now include Ember Attack, the risks and what you should do to prepare as a minimum. Ember Attack is something that needs to be at the forefront of bush fire preparation and needs to be taken into consideration when developing your bush fire plan.Remember more than eighty percent of homes are lost due to Ember Attack and the resulting Fine Fuel Ignition of debris in guttering as well as fuels around the home. A large number of injuries are sustained when people try to prepare their homes during adverse conditions and while defending a poorly prepared home. Always have a plan, if you’re going to stay and defend, always prepare early, doing so will help with defending your home when it counts the most. Installing EmberArresta valves directly to the gutter outlets or anywhere along the Downpipes will help you defend your home against Ember Attack. With valves installed you can safely, quickly and early, well in advance of the fire threat, close the valves, fill your gutters with water even if they are already full of debris.

Remember when preparing your property you should also check for any gaps, cracks or other areas that may allow Embers to lodge or enter your home. During bush fires more people are injured by falling from roofs or off ladders than from burns and as we know Embers can cause fires to start several kilometres in front of the fire and can start to fall up to an hour before the fire arrives and at least for an hour after the fire has passed. Always close the EmberArresta valves and fill your guttering early, firstly to give yourself plenty of time to complete your bush fire action plan, but because you are likely to lose mains water supply and power.

Defending your home during a Bush Fire may take several hours and you should never attempt to stay and defend by yourself. It is best that anyone not physically fit does not stay at home and that you and any other defender is in good physical health. Attempting to defend your home is a vigorous project and you may well encounter not only the fire wall itself but radiant heat, ember attack, very strong hot winds, dust, thick acrid smoke, chemicals and other potentially explosive conditions and materials.To assist with home defence, always and continually manage vegetation around and near your home to help defend your home and property from Embers, Radiant Heat and the threat of direct fire. Strong winds can send Embers from another fire front even one that has passed, or from burning trees, stumps, old dumps, fence posts and equipment caught in a fire, sometimes even days after.

Fine Fuels are often the thickness of a pen or less, ignite quickly, burn easily and can be carried by the wind on up-drafts as Embers. Branches, twigs, leaves, bark, seed pods and stalks as well as dry feed, crop trash and even rubbish and debris can be all considered as Fine Fuels. Gutters can be the perfect place for fire  caused by Ember Attack even if they are kept clean they can easily be the landing place for airborne fine fuels and Embers during a Bush Fire, something that can only be countered by filling your gutters with water when preparing your home.

Remember your Bush Fire Plan

Be Bush Fire Ready

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Geoff Mitcham

The upper balcony of my home overlooks a national park, the views are lovely but the risk of fire is real! In the past i have had to climb up onto my roof more than 20 ft off the ground to block my gutters, with the new EmberArresta valve i can safely stay on the balcony and simply close the valve from there using the broom handle to easily reach and close it., much quicker and safer than climbing on the roof. Because of the close proximity to the house of the trees and scrub, the heat shield when attached gives great piece of mind that the valve will stand up to the test.

Geoff Mitcham
Seacliff Park SA

Another Valuable Tool in your Fire Defence Kit

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Australia is frequently ravaged by bushfires, more so than any other country.

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