Are you prepared if things go wrong at home or when out and about?
At Mernda Fire Brigade, we want to be able to provide our community with tips and advice on how to be prepared for fire in and around the home and local area. We have done this in the past via our Facebook page and the EmergencySAFE newsletter. Going forward, we will have blog entries and tips on this page.
BE FIRE READY
With the weather warming up and the Fire Season fast approaching, now is the time to prepare for the fire season.
Mernda is part of what we call the Rural-Urban Interface – we are a growing Urban area surrounded by Rural assets such as grass and bush land, paddocks and livestock. As we saw with the large grass fire to the west of Mernda Villages early last year and in the south of Plenty Gorge in Mill Park and Bundoora last season, our grassfire risk can become a risk to homes and people quite quickly.
Prepare you home now by cleaning out your gutters, servicing Air Conditioners, removing flammable waste from around your property and how Emergency Plans in place – one for if your property is encountering fire or if the local area is.
Also be aware of conditions as we start to travel again around our wonderful state.
Be Fire Ready, Be Safe.
It’s Mid-January and already it’s been a busy fire season with major incidents in the east and north-east of the state, fires in the south-west and even in our nearby Plenty Gorge and behind the Mernda Village Adventure Playground.
Looking to social media and the very uninformed comments of well meaning locals is not a great way to get your information in the events of fire or emergency.
We highly recommend that everyone downloads the VicEmergency App from either the Apple App Store or Google Play Store and setup a watch zone around your place of business, residence and other areas that may be of concern to you.
That way you will be able to get the latest updates and advice regarding emergency events that could affect you. You can also use it to look ahead to locations around the state you may be travelling to.
One of the simplest ways to help protect your family if you are unlucky enough to have a fire situation at home is to have working smoke alarms. It is a legal requirement that your home has smoke alarms that are checked and working.
Daylight Savings Ends
The Daylight Savings Period in Victoria comes to end on Sunday, 7th April. This is great time to change your clocks, change your smoke alarm batteries, give the units a dust and test their functionally.
Ten Year Lifespan
Many people are unaware that Smoke Alarms, regardless of model or power source, need to be replaced with new units every ten years. Smoke Alarms are designed for a ten-year life span and may start giving false alarms or give no alarms after this time.
Take the opportunity over the next few weeks to get up and check your alarms for their date of manufacture and arrange replacement alarms if needed. Remember that most smoke alarms in your homes will be hardwired in if the home was built after 1997 and you will require an electrician to change the units. CFA & MFB recommend the use of Photoelectric Smoke Alarms that are checked regularly and replaced every ten years.
SAFETY IN THE KITCHEN
Over 40 per cent of home fires start in the kitchen, with unattended cooking being the leading cause of preventable house fires. Preventing a fire comes down to simple things like being aware of what distracts you when you’re in the kitchen and setting a timer so you don’t forget about what’s on the stove.
We encourage everyone to pay attention in their kitchen; appliances should be clean, free from built up grease and children must always be supervised.
For more home fire safety information visit www.cfa.vic.gov.au/homefire