The 2018 Fire season in Victoria shapes up as potentially one of the most concerning in recent memory. Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley has given his early warning on the pending bushfire season in South-East Australia – “The vast majority of the population will face above-normal bushfire risks this year and homeowners must prepare now, Australia’s fire chiefs have warned at the launch of the bushfire outlook.  Australia’s warmest winter on record, combined with the 9th driest winter on record, has left fuel loads dry across most of southern Australia” 

You can monitor fire risks in your area through various forums:

However you should never wait to receive an official warning before you leave.  Fires can start quickly and threaten homes and lives within minutes.  Warnings are issued when a fire has started and you need to take action.  And make sure you understand the three levels of warnings and what they mean. The three levels of warnings are:

  1. Advice
  2. Watch and Act
  3. Emergency Warning

Don’t expect warnings to be issued in any particular order. The first warning you could get could be an Emergency Warning.

Furthermore, if you live in a part of Melbourne which is prone to bush or spot fires, it is critical that your equipment, hoses and nozzles have been serviced and checked.   You can do most of these checks yourself –  here are some examples: 

  1. Fire Pumps – change engine oil, clean air cleaner, change old fuel that has been sitting in the fuel tank for a long time and clean and check the spark plug.
  2. Prime and test your fire pump and check its performance and reliability. If in doubt get it serviced.
  3. Layout all your fire hoses and test them under full operating pressure. Repair all leaks and replace dodgy fittings.
  4. It’s a good idea through the fire season to give your fire pump a test run at least once per month and or before a High Risk Fire day.
  5. On a High Risk day have your pump, hoses and fittings all connected and in running order.

Setting up your pumps and hoses for the first time under the pressure of a pending bush fire will cause you to make mistakes. Over the years there have been countless stories of peoples fire-fighting equipment being tested during an emergency, only to discover that it doesn’t work as it once did.  You need to check, test and service before any threat. 

If you’re unsure about your firefighting equipment, you can contact Century Rain who has a full array of firefighting pumps and hoses.  They can even come out to service your existing equipment.

Take care this bushfire season.