Are you fire ready?


Fire season is here and Victorians are being urged to become fire ready with more hot, dry conditions forecast for December.

Fire ready 2015
CFA firefighters at the Lancefield fire. Photo: Keith Pakenham

Although we live along the coast, coastal vegetation can fuel hot and dangerous bushfires. Beaches, foreshores and shallow waters may not be safe or protect you and your family from radiant heat.

The Country Fire Authority (CFA) is urging Victorians to be vigilant and well prepared during bush fire season and has provided some simple tips to lessen the chances of a fire around your house.

  • Keep gutters and roofs clear of leaf litter
  • Use pebbles or rocks in garden beds instead of mulch
  • Remove flammable items from decks and verandas, such as boxes, furniture and door mats
  • Keep grass cut to less than 10cm high
  • Keep wood piles away from the house
  • Store flammable liquids away from the house, and where possible, store them in flameproof containers
  • Remove dry grass, leaves, twigs and loose bark

CFA Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley said a written plan is the best way to remember what needs to be done during an emergency.

Fire ready 2015 1
Firefighter Jackson Birthisel from St Arnaud Fire Brigade. Photo: CFA

“It is important to prepare your property, but also prepare yourself,” he said.

“If you’re out on the roads or holidaying, know what the weather is doing in your area and stay tuned to more than one source of information and warnings to stay safe.”

CFA deputy Chief Officer Steve Warrington urges people to check their barbeques are still in good working order.

“It is vital people check that connections, gas cylinders, hoses and connections are not a disaster waiting to happen,” he said.

Things to look out for:

  • Loose connections
  • Visibly deteriorated hoses
  • Damaged cylinders

The CFA is asking people planning a burn-off to do the right thing and check conditions and register with the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority by calling 1800 668 511.

The CFA said the responsibility for surviving the fire season is shared between emergency services and the community.

STAY INFORMED AND BE PREPARED

  • Tune in to ABC radio, commercial and designated radio stations.
  • Download the FireReady App – set up ‘watch zones’ to allow for push notifications for incidents and warnings.
  • Add www.emergency.vic.gov.au to your favourites list on your internet browser.
  • Enter the Victorian Bushfire Information Line 1800 240 667 and the Flood and Storm Information Line 1300 842 737 into your phone contacts.
  • Connect with CFA and VICSES Facebook accounts
  • Follow CFA and VICSES on Twitter.

How fire ready are you? Let us know what you’re doing to stay safe this fire season in the comments below. 

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