News & Media

Don't wait until it's too late

By: CFA Media

Category: Community Safety, Health & Safety

  4.23 PM 3 January, 2013

Location: General

Views: 3099

Tomorrow is a day of Total Fire Ban across Victoria and knowing when to leave on a severe and extreme fire danger day could prove a life-saving decision, according to Victoria’s fire services.

The Bushfire Centre for Co-operative Research found a third of people living in high risk bushfire areas planned to wait and see, even after a fire had started, before deciding to leave.

CFA Chief Officer Euan Ferguson warned it could prove a fatal mistake.

Victoria is one of the most fire prone areas in the world, and on a bad day like tomorrow fires can travel extremely quickly. Smoke on the horizon can be a fire on your doorstep in minutes,” Mr Ferguson said.

“Know your trigger to leave. If you’re in two minds about leaving, you should leave early. Wait and it’s too late.”

Mr Ferguson said only those whose properties were well prepared and equipped with fire fighting equipment and were physically and mentally able to deal with the threat of fire, should consider actively defending their home. 

“Thankfully most people have never experienced the intense and terrifying experience of facing a bushfire. Its impact shouldn’t be underestimated.”

He said people shouldn’t wait for a warning or message to leave from fire authorities.

“On a severe, extreme or code red day leaving the night before or early in the morning is the only way to guarantee you and your family’s safety.”

Tips on leaving early:

  • Make sure you know what fire weather district you’re in and check the Total Fire Ban and Fire Danger Rating for that district every day over summer.
  • Talk to everyone you live with about your plans so you all know what you’ll do on a bad day.
  • Pack a relocation kit with important documents, photos, medications, money and clothes so you’re ready to leave early. Practise packing and leaving.
  • Download the FireReady smartphone app so you can check the Fire Danger Rating and alerts and warnings any time, any place where there is a phone signal.
  • On hot, dry and windy days fires can start and spread quickly. Check Fire Danger Ratings and alerts and warnings on CFA’s website.
  • Check out CFA’s website – – or call the Victorian Bushfire Information Line on 1800 240 667 for more information on how to stay safe this summer.
Last Updated: 03 January 2013