Having a Fire Safe Christmas is crucial in Australia, especially during the hot and dry summer months when the risk of bushfires is higher. Here are some tips to ensure a fire-safe Christmas:
Check Fire Danger Ratings
- Stay informed about the current fire danger ratings in your area. Adjust your plans and activities accordingly and be prepared to change or cancel outdoor activities if the risk is high.
- Keep yourself updated with weather forecasts and any warnings issued by local authorities. Listen to emergency broadcasts on the radio, watch news updates, and follow official social media channels for the latest information.
- Choose fire-resistant or non-combustible decorations for both indoors and outdoors. Avoid decorations that may easily catch fire, especially if you live in a bushfire-prone area.
Outdoor Cooking Safety
- If you plan to have a barbecue or cook outdoors, do so in designated areas and follow all safety guidelines. Keep a hose or bucket of water nearby, and never leave the barbecue unattended.
- If using candles, keep them in stable holders, away from flammable materials, and never leave them unattended. Consider using battery-operated candles as a safer alternative.
- Use LED Christmas lights instead of traditional incandescent ones, as they produce less heat. Ensure that the lights are in good condition and turn them off when you go to bed or leave the house.
- If you live in a bushfire-prone area, create a clear space around your home by removing leaves, twigs, and other flammable materials. Trim overhanging branches and keep your lawn well-maintained.
- Ensure you have adequate water sources, such as hoses and buckets, readily available in case of a fire emergency. Regularly check that your water supply is functional.
- Have a well-thought-out evacuation plan in case of a fire emergency. Discuss the plan with your family and practice evacuation drills. Know the location of evacuation centres in your area.
Respect Total Fire Bans
- If total fire bans are declared, adhere to the restrictions. Avoid any activities that could pose a fire risk, such as using machinery or open flames outdoors.
Report Suspicious Activity
- If you notice any suspicious activity or signs of arson, report it to the authorities immediately.
- Keep yourself and your family hydrated, especially during hot weather. Dehydration can exacerbate the effects of heat and stress.
Remember, safety is a collective effort, and everyone in the community plays a role in preventing and managing fire risks. Stay vigilant, stay informed, and stay FIRE SAFE during the holiday season.