Summer is here, which for many New Zealanders and Australians, also means the beginning of bushfire season.
Just as it is important to storm proof your house during the wet months, it also vital that homeowners prepare their property against a potential blaze.
Reducing the fuel around your home is the best way to protect it - without fuel, the fire has nothing to feed off.
This means cleaning and removing dry grass, leaves, twigs and any other foliage from around the property. It is also important to make sure that you keep the lawns short, and any overhanging trees are trimmed back away from the house.
If spring has spurred a flurry of growth among the trees on your property, you may want to hire a cherry picker or scissor lift to cut back branches.
Any woodpiles or other pieces of timber should be kept away from the house, ensuring that there is nothing to lead a fire onto your property.
Having access to a water source is also essential - make sure hoses, fire hydrants and taps are easily accessible at all times.
Ensuring you have a bushfire survival plan in place is vital, especially for those who live in bushfire-prone regions - review it with the family so you know what to do in the event of a blaze.