This is the first of what will be a regular monthly column from Werribee Fire Brigade to remind you of the approaching summer and what you can do to reduce the impact of fire.
The Werribee brigade community education officer, Lieutenant Jim Staggard, offers some practical steps to take for your own safety.
In the lead up to summer:
• keep the area around you home neat and tidy;
• remove all excess grass and rubbish from around your home;
• keep your lawns trimmed; and
• clean out your gutters of leaves and other items that may burn.
The city of Wyndham is within the Central fire region.
Monitor the fire danger ratings for the Central region each night and morning over the summer months.
Have a fire plan for your home and property.
Most importantly, make sure all the family know what to do and especially practice the plan with your children.
Make sure you have working smoke alarms in your home.
If you live facing open grass lands and a grass fire is approaching, shut all your doors and windows and move two streets back from your street.
If you live in an area where you feel it is safer to evacuate, make your decision to leave early.
Keep a bag packed with your valuables including medications, some snacks, bottles of water, insurance documents, birth, marriage certificates as well as family photos
If you leave late, you may encounter heavy traffic and blocked roads.
More valuable information on fire plans and on what to do before and during a fire is available at www.cfa.vic.gov.au/plan-prepare
Wyndham council’s municipal fire prevention officer, Alan Leach, writes:
Did you know there are around 9000 vacant blocks of land in the City of Wyndham?
A wetter than average spring has meant lots of grass growth on these properties.
It is vital that property owners clear their blocks of grass and rubbish before summer, not only to alleviate the chance of fire but just as importantly to keep our suburbs looking great.
If you own vacant land, please organise to have it cleared as soon as possible.
There are many local mowing contractors out there who can help.
Just a reminder that burning off in the urban areas of the municipality is illegal and if you have waste to get rid of council offers three free hard rubbish pick-ups per year for all residents.
Council can also supply a green waste bin for a small fee. Applications can be made via www.wyndham.vic.gov.au