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MFB & CFA go mobile with fire safety warnings

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24 Feb 2012
The Metropolitan Fire Brigade and Country Fire Authority are taking a novel approach to remind people about the increased dangers of bush and grass fires in urban areas.

As Melbourne’s summer continues to be unpredictable with periods of pavement peeling heat shifting to hail storms, the dangers of living in built-up areas that are close to bushland is easily forgotten.

“We need to remind people that in Melbourne you’re never far from the bush and you still have to be Fire Ready even if you live in an urban environment,” said MFB Chief Fire Officer Shane Wright.

“We’ll be using mobile billboards in and around many of the streets identified as being at heightened risk due to their proximity to parks and grasslands.

A static display and information booth will also be held at various shopping centres throughout Melbourne during February and March to encourage residents to prepare their homes and families.

“MFB share the boundaries in the outer urban fringe area and work closely to control any fire risk along those shared borders,” said CFA Manager of Community Resilience Gwynne Brennan

“You don’t normally think of Melbourne as being susceptible to bush or grass fires but we are fortunate to have a lot of park land right up to the city.”

MFB firefighters have identified more than 30,000 homes that are at heightened risk from bushfire because of their proximity to parks or open land.

CFO Wright said people who were most at risk were those with homes or work places backing on to bush, grassland, reserves, scrub, paddocks and parks with particular care needed for the very young and old, or those with disabilities and special needs.

“Everyone’s circumstances will differ but we should all understand and make preparations to manage our own individual fire risk,” he said.

You can reduce the fire risk around your home by clearing out anything that could fuel a fire:

Preparing to reduce the fire risk
Make a list of maintenance tasks you need to do before summer.

  • Plan possible relocation venues and routes to take for all family members especially children, the elderly and people with disabilities or medical conditions on days when the Fire Danger Rating is; “SEVERE” “EXTREME” or “CODE RED” (Relocation can be defined as going to a place of safety e.g. the Cinema, Shopping Centre or home of family/friend away from the high risk bushfire area on the day).
  • You may need different plans for business/school days and weekends/public holidays.
  • List necessities that you need to keep with you e.g. medicines, important documents, bank books, insurance papers, etc.
  • List and gather the family valuables that you will take with you upon relocation
  • Adults staying at home to defend their property must be physically and mentally prepared, suitably dressed and equipped with the following Personal
  • Protection Kit: – Goggles, gloves, hat, boots, cotton trousers, long sleeved shirt and face mask – Metal buckets, hoses connected, rakes and shovels

 

Preparing your property

  • Clear grass and weeds from around your home to a minimum of three meters
  • Clear gutters, roofs and down pipes
  • Store anything flammable (e.g. firewood, rubbish, gas bottles) away from your  home
  • Make sure your garden hoses are long enough to reach all areas of your property
  •  Make sure mops and buckets are easily accessible


Get your FireReady kit and take a fire risk self assessment at www.cfa.vic.gov.au

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