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MFB and CFA call on businesses to get fire ready

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14 Nov 2008
The MFB and CFA are urging businesses in urban fringe suburbs of Melbourne and regional centres to ensure that their factories, warehouses and buildings are properly maintained and prepared for the threat of fire this summer.

The renewed call comes after two separate grass fires threatened businesses in Melbourne’s west earlier this week.

One of the fires, at a warehouse in Laverton North, was caused by a carelessly discarded cigarette that came into contact with pallets stored by the side of the building.

MFB Chief Fire Officer Tony Murphy said that businesses had a responsibility to clean up their work sites in order to prevent costly and potentially life-threatening fires.

“Suburban grasslands and reserves pose fire risks and all property owners should be aware of their surroundings and ensure their properties are free of materials that could ignite if a fire threatened,” he said.

CFA Chief Officer Russell Rees said that under the right conditions, fires can do a lot of damage in a short amount of time.

“We are very concerned about fast-running grassfires that can start and within a few hours do significant damage,” he said.

The MFB and CFA are advising businesses owners to:

  • ensure all rubbish stored outside is disposed of properly and not left to accumulate
  • not to store raw materials and stock close to dry scrub and grassland
  • not to store raw materials outside in large piles as this will help a fire to spread quickly, resulting in significant loss of property
  • store combustibles (such as pallets) away from property
  • keep lawns cut and remove leaves from gutters
  • remove any overhanging branches and overgrown vegetation
  • keep timber and rubbish away from fences, particularly where the fence borders any bush or grassland
  • ensure your business has an evacuation plan and all employees are practised in its operation

For further information, please contact the Media and Communications Department on (03) 9665 4394 or media@mfb.vic.gov.au

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