Whitehorse City Council

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Get ready to tackle the coming fire season

16 Nov 2017

November is the perfect time to think about fire safety as the summer fire season approaches and gardens, homes and suburban bush reserves are at risk.

Whitehorse Councillor Sharon Ellis said the Bureau of Meteorology was expecting a drier and warmer summer than average this year and taking simple precautions now could protect homes and families over the summer months.

“Steps include planning what you and your family will do during a fire emergency whether you are at home or away from home on holiday when a potential emergency hits,” Cr Ellis said.

“Keep grass cut low on your property, do a garden tidy up to clear twigs, leaves and other items that could fuel a fire, and keep foliage well back from the home, with a 10m space between building and branches a good guide.

“Remember to check that your smoke alarms are in good working order.”

Council takes fire safety very seriously, and where it is determined by Council that a property is a fire hazard, a fire prevention notice will be sent to the landowner giving them a direction to remove the fire hazard from their land. Under the Metropolitan Fire Brigades Act 1958, people can be fined more than $1500 if they allow their property to become a fire hazard.

Grassfires can start and spread quickly in grasslands, parks or paddocks, especially on days when the fire danger rating is severe or extreme. Don’t try and get a closer look at a grassfire – you will put yourself and others in danger.

Those going to the country or other fire-prone areas on summer holidays should monitor fire danger levels at their destination and have an evacuation plan if they need to leave the area quickly. Local councils will have information on their websites that will assist you.

To discuss home maintenance programs for your property, phone Council’s Compliance Department on 9262 6394. For more information about fire safety, visit www.mfb.vic.gov.au or www.cfa.vic.gov.au


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