Preparing for a fire, storm or emergency

Overview

You can prepare for an emergency by keeping supplies in your home such as candles, torches, first-aid kits, and canned food. All family members should know where these supplies are kept.

Do not depend on power and telephones as they will often fail in an emergency. Radio may be your only means of contact - ensure you have a battery-powered radio and keep spare batteries handy.

Know how and where to turn off your gas, electricity and water. 

How to prepare for fire

Bushland Fire Safety

  • Prune overhanging vegetation and create an easily defendable zone around the house.
  • Clear all waste material from inner roof areas.
  • Check your roof thoroughly for cracks and gaps and fix them permanently.
  • Make sure your gutters are clean and that you have a gutter plug allowing you to fill the gutters with water if necessary.
  • Seal all vents and gaps in roof eaves with steel mesh.
  • Get an emergency bushfire cover for any air-conditioning units and skylights.
  • Mow your lawn regularly during summer.

How Council can help

Council is dedicated to ensuring its residents are well-educated about bushfire safety. If you have any questions about bushfires in the City of Monash, please call Council on 9518 3555.

Elderly residents or residents with a disability, may be eligible for home maintenance assistance, subject to eligibility. For more information, call Council on 9518 3553.

Council Actions

Council regularly carries out fire clearance works in our bushland reserves. We also improve fire safety by:

  • Removing selective dead trees
  • Maintaining firebreaks
  • Reducing vegetation density
  • Removing weed species
  • Removing excessive fallen branches and dead vegetation material

Fire patrols are also carried out on total fire ban days to help residents with fire detection.

Council Fire Strategy

The City of Monash has around 38ha of native bushland reserves in Damper Creek, Scotchman's Creek, Valley Reserve and Gardiners Creek.

Monash is generally a low-risk area, but there are a number of green corridors which have required Council to develop special fire-risk plans for bushfire season.

Council has implemented a fire management safety strategy for native bushland reserves across the municipality.

A fire management consultant and the Metropolitan Fire Brigade conducted the review and development of an action plan in 2003. Council has been annually reviewing the fire risk of its bushland reserves since then.

House fires and smoke alarms

House fires are life-threatening, particularly at night when you are sleeping. Smoke from a fire will not normally wake you when you are asleep.

For smoke alarms to be effective, it is important they are adequately maintained and correctly located. 

The operation of most smoke alarms can be readily checked by depressing a button on the outside of the alarm. The battery in most smoke alarms will need to be replaced each year.

Smoke alarms are required to be installed in each dwelling or sole-occupancy unit (flats, townhouses, units) in appropriate locations on or near the ceiling of every storey.

In rented premises, it is the owner's (landlord's) responsibility to install smoke alarms.

For more information on smoke alarms, please see: BLD0434 - Guidelines and Information for Smoke Alarms (pdf, 473KB) 

For more fire safety information, visit Fire Rescue Victoria at www.frv.vic.gov.au

 

How to prepare for storms

Experience shows people who plan and prepare for emergencies can reduce the impact of the emergency, and can recover more quickly afterwards.

To prepare for a storm at home:

  •  Create an emergency plan
  • Learn how to use sandbags to protect from flooding
  • Know your flood risk: Monash Local Flood Guide

For more information, please see the State Emergency Service website.