5 October 2018
Victorians are being urged to act now and begin summer season preparations early as part of Fire Action Week.
Fire Action Week, which runs from 7-14 October, is Victoria’s annual fire planning and preparation week.
Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp said Fire Action Week was about what communities could do now and in the weeks ahead to ensure they are prepared.
“We know that many people don’t have a fire plan, but it’s so important to know what you will do in the event of a fire. Talk to your family and friends about what your trigger to leave is and where you will go to stay safe. It’s important to stay informed and to never rely on one source for emergency information.
“Preparing for summer is a shared responsibility, so now is the time for the community to think and take action about how they can keep themselves and their families safe over summer.”
CFA Chief Officer Steve Warrington said preparing your property means minimising the chance of property damage during a fire, even if people plan to leave early.
“Get to know the fire danger ratings and get into the habit of checking them daily. Decide which rating will be your trigger to leave and pack important documents, photos, medications, money and clothes so you can leave easily before a fire starts,” he said.
“Leaving early means leaving before a fire starts, otherwise you risk driving through thick smoke, fallen trees and powerlines, and face the threat of major delays, traffic collisions, being trapped or worse.”
Forest Fire Management Victoria Chief Fire Officer Chris Hardman said: “Now is the time to start planning for the fire season, be it practical things you can do around your property or revisiting your fire plans. By working together now, we will be better prepared for the season ahead.”
MFB Deputy Chief Officer David Bruce said with warmer weather approaching it’s important for those living on or near the urban fringe to take steps to prepare for the summer fire season.
“Even if your home does not back onto bush or grassland, keep in mind that embers from a fire can travel from the main fire front. Everyone needs to be vigilant and prepare their properties. We want people to look forward to summer but also take fire seriously.”
In Victoria, you can get emergency information from a number of sources, including the VicEmergency app, emergency.vic.gov.au, tuning in to ABC radio or other emergency broadcasters including commercial and community radio stations or Sky TV, or phoning the VicEmergency hotline on 1800 226 226 and following VicEmergency on Facebook and Twitter.