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From the CO – Signal 5-5 and smoke alarm campaign
Signal 5-5 – hostile act notification
Signal 5-5, a critical radio message used to inform responders and VicFire that an incident may involve a hostile act, significant violence or terrorism, was introduced on 1 March 2016.
To support the introduction of this new concept into brigades, a Signal 5-5 training/information video has been developed. The video can be accessed here. I encourage brigades to play and discuss the video at your next brigade training or brigade meeting. It’s important that all members are aware of Signal 5-5, when it should be used and how to use it to ensure the safety of all members responding to incidents.
Timely reminder that only working smoke alarms save lives
CFA’s community-centred approach, educating and encouraging Victorians to take actions that reduce their fire risk, is vital in building both individual and community resilience.Therefore I encourage you to lead by example and ensure you have working smoke alarms in your homes and help family, friends and neighbours to test and maintain their smoke alarm units. As winter approaches it’s important that we also advocate home fire safety more broadly within our local communities.
There are over 3,000 preventable house fires each year in Victoria. We all know smoke alarms provide an early warning and time to evacuate safely – but they can only do this if they are properly maintained. Evidence shows that many Victorians remain unaware of their responsibility to regularly test and clean their smoke alarm. CFA is once again joining forces with MFB to remind Victorians to change their smoke alarm batteries when they change their clocks on Sunday 3 April 2016, and also replace smoke alarm units that are more than ten years old. A media launch will be held at Federation Square on 30 March to impart important smoke alarm safety advice.
It’s important for us to remember that a Commonwealth Senate Inquiry into National Smoke Alarm Policy and Regulation is still underway, with recommendations expected to be delivered in June 2016. This will likely inform significant changes in smoke alarm policy and legislation during the next financial year, which will dictate a shift in our messaging and advice for communities in the future. We will continue to provide you with information on the inquiry and outcomes as it progresses.
Thanks to everyone who will be out shaking tins on streets across the state and collecting donations for the Good Friday Appeal and/or participating in the 14-hour relay challenge. The Easter holiday period is also a traditionally busy time on the roads, so please drive carefully and have a safe and happy Easter.