Tag Archives: roof-sprinklers

Bushfires 2014 – Are you ready Warrandyte?

If anyone has been listening to the news lately, the similarities between the Perth Hills and Warrandyte would have been chilling – city fringe, hilly terrain, heavily wooded. That’s us people, to a T.

Have you left home yet? Trust me, you do NOT want to wait until a fire starts somewhere nearby. If you do, you will be stuck in an almighty traffic jam, and that will make you a sitting duck if the fire sweeps over the road. 

I understand the reluctance to leave the comfort of an air-conditioned home for a day spent wandering around a shopping centre. Those are exactly the sentiments of my daughter. That’s why she’s still here, at home, with me. But…

1. I have dedicated firefighting pumps in a concrete pump housing protected by an earth berm,

2. I have a big underground concrete water tank used ONLY for firefighting,

3. I have galvanised roof sprinklers [that won’t melt!] covering the ridge line and all around the eaves,

4. I have fire-resistant shutters around all doors, windows and my front verandah,

5. I have landscaped the area around the house not to burn. That includes no flammable vegetation AND pebbles as mulch,

6. Finally, as a line of absolute last resort, I have my wine cellar. It’s dug into the hillside, just a few metres from the emergency exit from my house.

So, there are no guarantees in this life, especially when we’re talking about bushfires, but this property is as safe as human effort can make it. That’s why I’m letting my daughter stay.

Can you say the same? 

Do you really want to place your life, and the lives of your children at the mercy of luck? Because if you stay, that is exactly what you’re doing – you’re gambling on wishful thinking.

Fire will sweep through Warrandyte again, and this week could be it. Think about it, please.

Good luck to us all.




My bushfire pool is great for swimming too!

Ok, I freely admit that I have had a hate-hate relationship with my above ground pool ever since I had it installed last year. Originally I was going to buy a 10,000 litre concrete water tank to supplement my existing fire-fighting tank but then I discovered that I could buy an 18,000 litre above ground pool for the same price as the tank. Even I can do simple arithmetic so the pool went in and my problems began.

I won’t catalogue all the problems I had with the pool but they were many, including two algal attacks. Nonetheless the beast did do one thing right – it stored water very well – so I gritted my teeth and tried to pretend it was not there.

All that changed just before Christmas when I went for my very first swim. Yes, we had had it almost a year and had never swum in it. It was a hot day and after all my efforts the water did look very inviting so I thought, why not try it out?As I climbed the rickety plastic ladder for the first time I did have a moment of doubt but then I threw caution to the winds and jumped in.

Oh my god… I expected the water to be freezing cold as the pool has no heating whatsoever but instead I discovered that it was almost warm! [Metal pool + north facing position = free warmth!] The best part though was the sensuous, silken quality of the water flowing over my skin. No salt to sting the eyes, no rank chlorine smell, nothing but cool, clean, almost drinking quality water thanks to the ionizer. If ever I had had doubts about that ionizer they were all gone. Not only was it giving me water that would not corrode my roof sprinklers, it was giving me the best swim of my life. [Actually it was the best paddle of my life but let’s not quibble].

Since that moment No. 1 Daughter has gone for a swim as well and we have both changed our minds about the ugly duckling in the backyard. It is still ugly and it still blocks my view of the lily pond but every time I go for a swim I begin to like it more and more. Just this morning I discovered that the inlet from the filter is almost as good as a ‘swim spa’ [so long as you’re not a very good swimmer]. Oh, and did I mention it also gives a great massage?

What more could you possibly ask of a fire-fighting tank?

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