Even if you live a few streets away from grassland, you need to know what to do if a fire starts.DO:
- Stay inside your home – grassfires are unlikely to spread past the first row of houses
- Keep the roads clear so emergency services can respond.
- Don’t try and leave by road - smoke and traffic congestion will make it difficult to get out
- Don’t try to put out the fire. Move to safety and call Triple Zero (000).
How to prepare before a fire:
Know what to do: Talk to your friends, neighbours and family about how you will know if a fire starts, listen to the radio or check the FireReady app, decide on how you will stay in touch (mobile phone), and what you’ll do if a fire starts (stay where you are).
Monitor weather conditions: It’s up to you to stay informed. Always keep an eye on the conditions outside - you may be aware of a fire before emergency services. If you see smoke or flames, call Triple Zero (000).
Check Fire Danger Ratings daily: Fire Danger Ratings tell you how dangerous a fire would be if one started. The higher the rating, the more dangerous the conditions. To check the ratings for your local area, go to emergency.vic.gov.au, download the FireReady app, or call the Victorian Bushfire Information Line (VBIL) on 1800 240 667. If you have a hearing or speech impairment contact VBIL on 1800 555 677. Or if you don’t speak English, call 131 450 for translated information from the VBIL.
What to expect:
If there's a fire nearby, you can expect:
Lots of smoke: Smoke makes it hard to see and can cause breathing difficulties. Stay indoors and keep all windows and doors closed, place towels or blankets around the bottom of doors and window sills and don’t use your air conditioner. Remember, smoke may lead to traffic congestion and accidents so stay off the roads.
Radiant heat: Radiant heat is the heat created by a fire. If there's a fire close by, it's important to cover up any exposed skin because radiant heat can cause serious injury or death. Wear a wide brimmed hat, eye and face protection, a long sleeved shirt, long pants and socks all made from natural fibres such as cotton or wool, and sturdy leather boots and gloves. Distance is the best protection against radiant heat, so it’s important to stay away from fire.