When a fire threatens, the safest option is to leave your home as soon as possible. If you are prepared to stay and protect your home, keep in mind that:
- you may lose water pressure and electricity
- you may not be able to make phone calls
- the conditions will be hot, dark, windy and noisy
As the fire front approaches, you should:
- check websites or listen to the radio (ABC 702 AM or Triple H 100.1 FM) for the latest fire information
- dress in protective clothing (wool or cotton) and get equipment ready
- plug downpipes and fill gutters with water
- dampen all sides of your house exposed to the fire
- fill baths, sinks and containers/buckets with water to tackle any spot fires
- move inside your house with your hose as the fire front approaches. Your house is the best shelter.
- don’t leave home at the last minute – this is when lives are lost
- when the fire hits, check all rooms for spot fires including the roof
- move into the coolest part of your house near a door that faces away from the approaching fire
- if your house catches fire, try to extinguish it. If you can’t, move to burnt ground or a predetermined safe spot away from the fire
- after the fire, go outside and put out any spot fires.
You may receive an emergency warning message. This is the highest level of alert and indicates that you may be in danger.
Often this is accompanied by a statement to Shelter in Place. This means you should seek the safest shelter inside – this may be your home or another building that may provide you with some protection from radiant heat. At this stage it will be too late to leave.
If you are caught out or need to seek alternative shelter there are designated neighbourhood safer places.