Eyre, SA.

Stay safe this fire season

Did you know that South Australia experiences a bushfire 6 or 7 years out of ten? This means the chance and frequency of a fire near you is high.

In the recent wake of bushfires across the country and with more extreme weather still to come, we thought it would be a good time to provide some guidance on things you can do in the event of a bush fire in your area and how to make your home fire safe. 

There are many things you can do to keep you and your family safe whether you encounter a home fire or bush fire. The following points are relatively simple to implement but will increase your chances of a safe escape.

  1. Have a safety plan and or a bushfire management plan. This many include a meeting point and escape routes
  2. Talk to your family and friends about your plan
  3. Keep an 'emergency box' near your front door. An emergency box may contain the following:
    • Copies of important documents such as insurance papers, passports, license, will, prescriptions etc...
    • List of essential phone numbers (or save these to your phone and keep a spare phone and charger in the kit) 
    • Photos
    • Jewellery
    • Battery operated radio
    • Torch
    • Spare batteries
    • First Aide Kit
    • Woollen blankets (one for each person in your family)
    • Overnight bag with a change of clothes, toiletries and sanitary items 
    • Drinking Water
    • High energy foods such as dried fruits and nuts and protein bars
  4. Prepare your home and clear around your property. For a detailed list of what to do, visit here.
  5. Know where your nearest 'Bushfire Safer Place' is. 

Stay informed!

Fires can threaten suddenly and without warning. You need to be prepared to enact your Bushfire Survival Plan without receiving any emergency warning.

You can:

  • Know what the bushfire dangers are for your area
  • Know the daily Fire Danger Rating for your area
  • Watch for signs of fire, especially smoke and flames
  • Know what you need to do
  • Act decisively the moment you know there is danger
  • Put your Bushfire Survival Plan into action (avoid a "wait and see" response)

Don’t just rely on one information source. There are many sources where you can find up to date emergency information including, but not limited to:

  • CFS website www.cfs.sa.gov.au
  • Bushfire Information Hotline 1800 326 361 
  • Social Media - follow @cfsalerts and @cfstalk on Twitter, or like SA Country Fire Service and CFSUpdates on Facebook.
  • Subscribe to CFS emails - email listserv@cfslist.sa.gov.au to subscribe with the subject "SUBSCRIBE CFS-SUBSCRIBERS ANONYMOUS" and message "SUBSCRIBE CFS-SUBSCRIBERS ANONYMOUS".
  • Local ABC radio, Five Double A and other emergency broadcast partners

General home fire safety

There are things you can do to minimise the risk of a home fire that are easy to implement and may save you and your family the stress and consequences of a home fire. Some include:

  • Have a written escape plan in case of fire and practice it regularly with your family
  • Keep keys to all locks in an easy to remember and easy to access location
  • Never leave cooking or any other open flame including candles or oil burners unattended
  • Clean the lint filter of your clothes dryer each and time you use it
  • Don't overload power points
  • Switch off appliances when not in-use 
  • Always keep lighters and matches away from children and teach them that they are not toys and only used by responsible adults
  • Always check that your BBQ is safe and in good working order
  • Keep a fire blanket and extinguisher in your home
  • If you live in a bushfire prone area, keep the ground around your home clear of leaves and other littler and remember to clean your gutters regularly
  • Trim overhanging trees to more than 2 meters from your roof / home

Quick Links

There are also plenty of online references. We recommend that you refer to the following quick-links for more in-depth detail about prevention, who to call, what to do and where to go in a fire  emergency. 

South Australian Country Fire Service https://www.cfs.sa.gov.au

Fire and Rescue NSW https://www.fire.nsw.gov.au

Queensland Government https://www.qld.gov.au/emergency/safety/home/firesafety-home

Teaching kids about fire safety: https://www.verywellfamily.com/tips-for-teaching-kids-about-fire-safety-616822

 

Please stay safe this fire season!

 

Sources:

South Australian Country Fire Service https://www.cfs.sa.gov.au

Fire and Rescue NSW https://www.fire.nsw.gov.au

 

Image by Adrian Schüpbach from Pixabay