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Ten steps to secure your home before wintery weather and storms

From May to mid-November, the southern region of WA can experience cooler temperatures combined with rain, strong winds, and storms.

It’s therefore a good idea to ‘winter-ise’ our homes, so we’re prepared for inclement weather conditions.

Here are 10 steps to follow to help you prepare for and manage our winter weather conditions.

  1. Schedule a seasonal busy-bee. RAC winter safety

In many parts of WA, we have recycling, composting, and household rubbish bins, as well as green waste and bulk household waste pick-ups.

Schedule gardening and ‘spring-cleaning’ around dates that coincide with bin and bulk waste days. If you don’t have these programs where you live, schedule seasonal clean-ups so you have time to check your property from season to season.

  1. Spot the risks

Keep an eye on things that can move, break, rust, fly around, snap, or burn. Trim trees, tree branches and shrubs, clean gutters and drains and check your roof for any broken tiles or cracks.

Move your vehicles under cover to avoid damage from weather or flying objects.

  1. Securing objects

Secure or take down anything outside your home that can ‘take flight’, including trampolines, washing lines, clothing on washing lines, pool covers and plastic backyard play equipment.  RAC winter safety

  1. Looking after our pets

A lot of pets don’t like storms so bring them inside, or ensure they have a safe place outside. If they’re prone to running away make sure they have a collar and are microchipped.

  1. If the power goes out

Keep power charging bricks and generators handy in the event you lose power for a period of time.

If you think you might be in for a few days without power, grab a bottle of Kwik-Gas so you can keep your barbecue going if you don’t use gas in your kitchen.

If you use Kwik-Gas bottles for your barbecue, camping or outdoor heaters make sure you know how to turn off the valve on the gas bottle.

  1. Know where your gas meter is RAC winter safety

It’s important to know where you natural gas meter is located at your house, in case you ever need to access it.

For most properties, your gas meter will be located in a metal box at the front or side of the house. You may have a gas-only meter, or a combination gas and electrical meter box. Read about how to turn your gas meter on or off.

  1. Ensure you’re insured

Make sure you have the right insurance cover for your property. No matter where you live or what your budget is, there is a level of cover that can make a difference when you need it most.

Try RAC’s building and contents calculators to get an estimate of what it would cost you to replace some or all of your home and its contentsRAC winter safety

  1. Gas cylinder users

Check that your gas cylinders are stored securely. If you use gas cylinders, including Kwik-Gas for barbecues and outdoor heaters, ensure that you;

  • Store gas cylinders on flat and stable ground and keep them clear of combustible materials.
  • Position safety valves and connection points away from structures and other gas cylinders.
  • If particularly bad weather, fires or flooding is expected, follow this additional advice for emergency preparation.

You can also ask a licensed gasfitter about the safest ways to store and use your gas cylinders correctly. All gas fitting work, including relocating the regulator or piping, must be performed by a licensed professional.

Remember that 45kg gas cylinders should be inspected and tested every 15 years. Our Kleenheat team will inspect our Kwik-Gas bottles every time they are returned to our refilling depots.

  1. Dial before you dig

Sometimes when we’re working on a DIY project, or cleaning up after bad weather, digging may be required.

Before you do any digging or excavation work on your property, it’s a good idea to check the location of underground gas pipes and wires. Make sure you dial before you dig. 

  1. Emergency Kit RAC winter safety

Always have an emergency kit handy. In addition to a first aid kit, this might include hard-drives with photos, spare house, car and garage and storage locker keys, spare clothes, a torch and batteries, cash and go-to phone numbers, and even a spare mobile phone.

Who to call in an emergency

  • If your life or your property is threatened, call 000.
  • For non-life-threatening crisis situations you can also contact the SES or State Emergency Services on 132 500.
  • For non-life-threatening natural gas emergencies, call ATCO Gas on 13 13 52.
  • Kleenheat LPG customers (cylinders tanks and reticulated gas network) can call 1800 093 336 in the event of an LPG emergency.
  • For power outages, and damaged power lines contact Western Power 13 13 51 or Horizon Power on 13 23 51.
The SES RAC winter safety

The SES or State Emergency Services, is the Western Australian volunteer based division of the Department of Fire and Emergency Services of Western Australia.

The SES are a vital component of the community who rally to assist in times of natural or man-made emergencies.

The SES are often called to assist after storms, cyclones, flooding and fires, or when other emergency services are not available.

Keep an eye on the weather

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) offers up to date information on all weather conditions across WA, no matter where you live.

Their live radar is especially handy when timing your dash to the car or shops when there’s rain forecast. The BOM website is also a reliable source for checking weather conditions when you’re out and about.

You can find specific forecasts for severe weather and fire warnings, fog, smoke and air quality information and marine conditions.