THE Tasmania Fire Service (TFS) is asking local residents to take the following steps to stay fire safe in the summer months:
Know your risk – learn whether you live in a bushfire-prone area.
Understand your local environment and your options should a bushfire occur, i.e. to leave early or stay and defend your home.
Check the TFS website (www.fire.tas.gov.au) regularly for the following:
Advice on how to prepare for bushfires.
Current and expected fire danger ratings. These ratings indicate how bad fires will be if they start and should guide what action you will take on fire danger days.
Bushfire alerts and warnings in case a fire breaks out near you.
Where your local Nearby Safer Places are for shelter. These are listed in the Community Bushfire Protection Plan for your area.
Information on “Total Fire Bans” and what you can and can’t do with fires when bans are in force.
Prepare a Bushfire Survival Plan. Your plan should include everyone who lives with you or is relying on you to keep them safe, as well any pets or livestock. Talk today with your family and neighbours about your bushfire survival plan and what you will do.
Even if it is not a day of Total Fire Ban, think of the weather conditions and use common sense when doing anything that could start a fire.
Some bushfires are started by arsonists. If you see anything suspicious, no matter how insignificant, immediately call the police (phone 000).
Do’s and don’ts on Total Fire Ban days
Monitor Total Fire Ban warnings through daily newspapers, television, radio and the TFS website (www.fire.tas.gov.au).
Be aware that a Total Fire Ban usually lasts for 24-hours.
Don’t use tools and equipment in the open air that generate sparks, such as for grinding, welding and cutting metal, or that use a naked flame.
Don’t operate barbecues that use wood, charcoal or other solid fuel (these are all banned during Total Fire Bans).
Only use gas and electric barbecues and follow the strict conditions set out on the TFS website.
If bushwalking or camping, only use gas-fuelled cooking appliances, providing they are clear of any flammable material for at least one metre.
Minimise non-essential water use including garden-watering or lawn sprinklers. This will help ensure that firefighters and residents who may be facing a bushfire have water for fighting the fire.
Caption: Fleeing from a bushfire at the last minute can be fatal.