Redlanders urged to make fire safety a New Year’s resolution

Queensland’s Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) are urging Queensland residents to make fire safety a part of their New Year’s resolutions for 2015.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the recent interstate fires reinforced the serious QFES message to all residents to use the New Year holiday period to focus on fire safety as a priority.

“Unlike the savage fires on North Stradbroke Island last Christmas, the Redlands has been lucky to avoid serious fires so far this summer, with the South East currently on low fire risk classification.

“But the important message is to use this time to check the fire safety basics around your home.

“This includes practising a fire escape plan with your family and checking household electrical appliances for faults that can often cause household fires.

The QFES point out that a home can succumb within a few minutes to the smoke and flames from a fire.

“This makes it vital to be prepared and to practise a fire escape plan with everyone in the household,” Cr William said.

“Take the time to test your smoke alarms are working and if necessary, replace the old batteries.

“Your household emergency plan should identify a safe place to evacuate to in case of fire or bushfire or to take shelter in a storm.

“Households should also have a household emergency kit within easy access that includes a list of emergency phone numbers, important family documents, medications and a light and battery radio.

“Other measures that can be taken in and around the home include;
• Clean gutters and downpipes
• Trim trees and remove any overhanging branches from around the house before the start of storm and fire season (vegetation protection laws may apply so you should check with Council first).
• Install metal screens or shutters on all windows to protect against fire embers.
• Ensure LPG cylinder relief valves point away from the house to minimise fire risk.
• If you have water system, pumps or generators make sure they are working and ready in case of fire.

“Information on how to prepare your household for emergencies can be found at the Redlands Disaster website

“Being prepared and practising household fire escape plans is the best way to ensure your family stays safe over the coming year.”