Is your garage part of your bushfire survival plan?

It’s that time of year again where we look forward to bringing on the three B’s – BBQs backyard cricket and the beach.

Unfortunately, there is a fourth ‘B’ – bushfires. Long periods of hot, dry weather mean that the risk of bushfires and the threat to homes and property is a serious reality.

The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast a warm, dry spring for much of Australia and with many areas of the east coast, including the entire state of New South Wales, now a drought declared area, a severe bushfire season is a possibility.

Merlin has put together some tips for your garage and garden bushfire safety preparations.

Prepare for a quick getaway

If you keep your car in the garage, your garage door opener should be included in your bushfire survival plan to ensure that if you do have to evacuate, it is as easy as possible.

Prepare for power outages

Bushfires can also lead to power outages, so it’s important to have a plan in place to manually open your garage door so you can get the family in and out of the garage quickly and safely.

  • Make sure you familiarise yourself with the manual release cord, which will allow you to open the door even when the power is out. You should also ensure that it is in good working order – it shouldn’t be frayed and should still have the plastic handle at the end of the cord.
  • Have extra peace of mind by installing Battery Backup to ensure that your garage door opener (and safety features) can operate in the event of a power outage. Battery Backup is compatible with select Merlin garage door openers: the SilentDrive Elite, the Commander Elite and the Commander Extreme and is integrated with the Commander Ultimate garage door opener.

Tidy up your garden

Not only does maintaining the garden help improve your home’s curb appeal, it can help protect your home and ensure you can leave the garage quickly in the event of an evacuation.

  • Trim branches: Low hanging tree branches can be dangerous if located near a house or garage. These can spread fire to the house, cause damage or obstruct the driveway (and your evacuation) by falling.
  • Keep your gutters clear: Remove accumulated debris such as loose flaky bark, dead twigs or leaves commonly found in gutters and roof areas to prevent floating embers catching alight.
  • Mow your lawn regularly: Keep grass mowed to less than 10cm as fire can travel quickly through long grass. Regular mowing, weeding and raking are important to remove potential fuel.

Be safe this bushfire season and make your garage door opener and garden are part of your survival plan.

For more information contact our Customer Service team on 1800 638 234 or visit our website.