Federal Minister for Justice Michael Keenan and Victorian Minister for Police and
Emergency Services Kim Wells today launched a significant enhancement to Emergency
Alert that now sees location-based warnings broadcast to all Australian mobile phone
networks during emergencies.
This is great news for Victorians but please remember that this is only one way to receive information about fires and it is only used in extreme circumstances. It is not the first or primary form of notification.
Make sure you are up to date with your information gathering processes and that you have checked your fire safety plan for this summer.
Summer is here, now’s the time to make sure your property is fire ready.
Keep grass short, shift woodpiles well away from your house, and cut back overhanging branches. Replace any woodchip or dry straw mulch in your garden with non-flammable pebbles or rocks.
Put in the time now before the hot weather strikes to give your home and assets the best possible chance of getting through a fire.
Visit cfa.vic.gov.au to find out more, or call 1800 240 667 to book our free Home Bushfire Advice Service at your property.
CFA’s Landscaping for Bushfire booklet is the go-to reference for anyone who’d like to create a fire smart garden.The way you plan, plant and maintain your garden can reduce the impact of bushfire on your home – and Landscaping for Bushfire is an ideal reference, featuring model garden arrangements and an easy to use plant selection key. It’s perfect for professional landscape gardeners, keen enthusiasts or even nursery staff.
Request your free copy by calling 1800 240 667 or download it from cfa.vic.gov.au/plants
One way CFA keeps the community informed about incidents is through Facebook. More and more Victorians want fast and timely information through social media – including during an emergency.
CFA posts information on Facebook the moment it’s verified, making Facebook one of CFA’s most important channels for getting critical warnings across. And unlike traditional media, Facebook allows people close to the incident to add information or ask questions.
If you live in a bushfire risk area, search for “CFA Facebook” and click “Like” to receive timely information as part of your feed.
What happens when you’re not watching the stove?
Multitasking is a part of our busy lives, but with over a third of all house fires starting in the kitchen, we all need to remember that distractions and cooking just don’t mix.
In fact, most mums who prepare the family meal have at some time experienced smoke and flames. But around fifty-five per cent say they do other tasks while cooking – not just occasionally, but every day*. Putting on a load of washing, helping children with their homework or using a computer are common culprits for taking people out of the kitchen.
There are many simple things you can do in the kitchen to prevent a devastating house fire, such as:
· Never leaving cooking unattended
· Keeping tea-towels and curtains away from cooking and heat sources
· Keeping cooking surfaces, grills and fans free from oil and residue.
For a more tips and information about how to keep fire out of all parts of your home, and how to prepare a home escape plan for your family, visit www.homefiresafety.com.au. Home Fire Safety – we are all responsible.
* Study conducted by Galaxy Research, 2013.
Many people like to use therapeutic wheat bags for the relief of various types of muscular, back and arthritic pains.
Wheat bags are usually made of fabric filled with wheat or other grains. They can be heated in the microwave until they reach a desired temperature (according to the manufacturer’s instructions).
Investigations into therapeutic wheat bags have revealed that the wheat can ignite during heating and when used as a warmer in bed. Constant use can result in the reduction of the moisture content of the wheat, causing it to overheat. This can result in a fire or burns.
The following are some safety hints when using therapeutic wheat bags:
• Only purchase bags which have an information sheet, which clearly states how to use the item.
• Read and follow manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
• Do not overheat the wheat bag, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
• When heating the wheat bag, some manufacturers recommend placing a glass of water in the microwave to prevent wheat from drying out.
• Do not use wheat bags as a bed warmer.
• Never use wheat bags while you are in bed in case you fall asleep while using them.
• Always remain in attendance when heating the bag.
• Watch for signs of over use, e.g. cooking or burning odours, charring of the bag. If these signs are present dispose of the bag after it has cooled down.
• Do not store away until the wheat bag is cold. Always leave the wheat bag to cool on a non-combustible surface.
• People who make the bags should include an information sheet which provides a method for the use of the bags. When making the bags, it would be preferable to use flame retardant materials. Never use rubber or plastic backed materials. Avoid using wheat which contains dust.
Check the life of the heat pack according to manufacturer’s instructions.
Fuel moisture is too high for the objectives of the proposed burn plan to be met, so in conjunction with the Vegetation Management Officer from CFA, we have been forced to postpone the burn.
If he weather conditions become favourable again soon, I will be back in touch.
Realistically, it is not likely to occur until spring.
Thank you again for your support.
The Brigade will be assisting Metro Trains with a fuel reduction burn along the side of the railway line between Robinsons Road and Golf Links Road.
At this early stage of the week, the plan is to commence the burn on Saturday 20 April around lunch time.
This plan is very dependant on the weather as seen with the Flora and Fauna Park cancellation last week.
Invitations for assistance have been sent to a number of our neighbouring Brigades and logistics planning is well under way.
Immediate neighbours have been provided with information and map.
I will keep you informed of any developments.