As I sit here at my desk there is an out-of-control bushfire only a few kilometres away to the south-west and another to the north-west over the border and this got me thinking about bushfire safety… Bush Fire Safety & you!
This is promising to be a very long and dry Bush Fire season and this means the possibility of a spring and summer that will bring with it extreme fire dangers.
The Rural Fire Service in NSW has already introduced a total fire ban (earlier than normal) and has reminded people that substantial fines and even prison terms of up to 12 months may apply to any persons found to be in breach of the Rural Fires Act 1997 and its Regulations. Civil law suits can also be bought against persons responsible for fire, by those seeking compensation, for losses sustained.
Your safety and that of your family and community are vitally important and to assist with preparedness the RFS introduced new Alert Levels in the past few years.
The bush fire alert levels range from Low-Moderate up to Catastrophic, which is as bad as it can get (and sounds!) and it is advised that no homes are built to withstand a fire under this sort of condition and leaving the area earlier is the only safe option.
So, have you got a Fire Safety Plan? To assist you in preparing for the season the RFS has produced a 4 step plan to assist with fire safety. This is…
- What should you do? Leave or stay??
- Where will you go and who should you tell?
- What should you take?
- What’s the backup plan?
- Trim overhead trees and shrubs
- Mow the grass and remove all cuttings
- Remove all combustible material from around the house, even the door mat
- Clear all debris in the gutters and fill them with water if you can
- Prepare with sturdy hoses and a reliable water source
- Know the bush fire alert levels
- Follow advice, Watch & Act, Emergency Warnings
- Keep to your plan
- Keep up-to-date with information
- Stay up to date on conditions in the area
- Save phone numbers and use apps
- 000 emergency no. & 1800 NSW RFS (1800 679 737 or your state service)
- NSW RFS website rfs.nsw.gov.au (or your state fire service)
- ‘fires near me’ App
- Local radio, ABC, TV etc.
- during a bushfire you could lose power and telecommunications, do not really on just one source of information
For more detailed steps and plans please go to… https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/plan-and-prepare
And, for more information the NSW Rural Fire Service is having a ‘Get Ready Weekend’ this coming Saturday and Sunday 14-15th Sept, this will be a family friendly event and a great opportunity to meet you local firefighters. Get involved in the kids activities, climb aboard a fire truck, see firefighting displays and their specialised equipment. By visiting your nearest Get Ready Weekend event, you can do your bit to prepare your family and property ahead of what will be a long, hot and dry bushfire season.
Safety Makers have a range of Emergency and Evacuation Plans and Procedures and we can tailor needs to your specific business and/or unique requirements.