As we head into Spring, the start of bushfire season begins. Are you prepared?
Fire chiefs are asking the community not to be complacent as we head into bushfire season. Following three consecutive La Niña cycles, there is now plenty of fuel and the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) is forecasting hotter and drier conditions across most of Australia. We urge you to take the time to read our fire safety advice and then take precautions to protect your family.
Have a fire plan
Make sure everyone in your home knows what to do if a fire occurs. Sit down as a family and discuss what you will do with pets, valuables and most importantly people. When making your plan you might also want to include your neighbours, friends, or vulnerable people in your community. Remember, leaving early is always the safest choice.
There’s lots of simple things you can do around the home and yard, like keeping the lawn mowed and removing flammable materials. Always have a source of water available and hoses that reach around your entire house. Pack an emergency kit in a strong waterproof storage container and keep it in a place where you can easily access it when you need it. Also, check your home and contents insurance. Regardless of whether you are a home owner or a renter, being insufficiently insured can be extremely costly and stressful.
Be in the know
Before fires even start, you should always monitor the fire danger ratings to make sure you know the right way to respond.
Moderate: Plan and prepare
High: Prepare to act
Extreme: Take action now to protect your life and property.
Catastrophic: For your survival, leave bushfire risk areas.
In the event of a bushfire, it’s important that you stay up to date on conditions in your area. Stay tuned to radios, websites and download the ‘Fires Near Me’ app to keep up to date with the latest news so you can act fast.
There are three bushfire alert levels which are designed to help you know what the safest thing is to do at that time.
Advice: A fire has started. There is no immediate danger. Stay up to date in case the situation changes.
Watch and act: There is a heightened level of threat. You need to start taking action to protect yourself and your family.
Emergency warning: You may be in danger and need to take action immediately. Any delay now puts your life at risk.
You might think that your home will never be in a bushfire and you don’t need to have a plan in place. However most houses are burnt in bushfires because of ember attacks. Embers can cause fires many kilometres in front of the main fire and can start falling up to an hour before the fire arrives at your home. If you prepare and nothing ever happens then you have lost nothing. If you do not prepare your family and home in order to best protect them from a bushfire you may not live to regret it.