1. You’re at risk of fire this summer if you live near bush, grassland or coastal scrub. You need to understand your risk and know what to do
2. Talk to your family about the fire risk where you live and make plans for what you’ll do on a hot dry and windy day
RAA Insurance tour the Sampson Flat bushfire area to see how those whose properties survived, planned for fire season
3. Be sure to speak with your local CFS Brigade before the fire season. These members live and work in your community and are the best source of local information
4. Prepare yourself, your family and your property before summer by understanding your risk, deciding what you are going to do and by packing important items so you can leave with ease before a fire starts
5. Prepare your property for the fire season by removing firewood, dry leaves and other rubbish from around your home. On hot, dry and windy days, fires can start and spread quickly
The CFS show us how quickly a fire can spread on a hot windy day
6. If you rely on others for care or support, you need to leave before days where the Fire Danger Rating is Code Red, Extreme or Severe – don’t wait to receive a warning
7. On hot, dry, windy days, fires can start and spread quickly. If the Fire Danger Rating is Code Red, Extreme or Severe, you’re risking your life if you wait and see what happens
8. It’s up to you to stay informed. Check the Fire Danger Rating for your area every day over summer and act to protect yourself and your family by leaving early on hot, dry and windy days
9. Fire Danger Ratings are not a weather forecast – they tell you how dangerous a fire would be if one started. The higher the rating the higher the risk
10. On high fire risk days, choose the safer option of leaving early and protect yourself and your family. Waiting to see what happens and then leaving late means facing the risk of being trapped or worse
The Stuart Family share how they survived the Sampson Flat bushfire in the Adelaide Hills in January 2015 and the decisions they made that saved their lives
11. In the event of a fire, leaving late means that a drive that normally takes a few minutes could take hours and you may not be able to get out at all
The CFS show us how hard it can be to be to make your escape through bushfire smoke
12. Warnings are issued when a fire has started and you need to take action. Make sure you are aware of and understand the three levels of warnings and what they mean – Advice, Watch and Act and Emergency.
13. If you hear or see an Advice message it means there is a fire in your local area. You need to get information and monitor conditions.
14. If you hear or see a Watch and Act message fire is heading toward you. Conditions are changing and you need to start taking action now to protect yourself.
15. If you hear or see an Emergency Warning you are in immediate danger and need to act now. You will be impacted by fire.
16. Don’t expect warnings to be issued in any particular order. The first warning you hear about could even be an Emergency Warning.
A watch and act message from the CFS during the Kyeema bushfire in November 2015
17. Don’t rely on an official warning to leave. Bushfires can start quickly and threaten homes and lives within minutes
18. Always use more than one source for warnings such as the CFS Facebook or twitter pages or download the Fire Ready App
The CFS South Australia Twitter page
19. Always use more than one source for warnings such as listening to local radio, 1125 on your am dial or 100.3 (Adelaide Hills) 99.7 (South Coast) & 98.7 (Murraylands) on the FM dial, or ring the South Australian Bushfire Information Line on 1300 362 361. If you have a hearing or speech impairment you can contact the South Australian Bushfire Information Line via the National Relay Service on 1800 555 677. Or if you don’t speak English call 131 450 for translated information
21. Preparing your property before the fire season is the best way to reduce the impact of fire on your home. You should do this even if your plan is to leave early on hot, dry, windy days
The CFS show us how embers can rain down on your property well ahead of the flames arriving
22. Keeping your gutters clean, clearing flammable items from around the property and cutting back branches on trees and shrubs helps reduce the amount of direct flame contact and radiant heat on your house
23. The 10/30 and 10/50 rules exempt landowners from needing a permit to remove vegetation on their property in bushfire-prone areas. Check if these apply in your municipality
24. Check the CFS website to see if the fence line vegetation rule applies in your municipality. This rule determines whether or not you need a permit to clear between yours and a neighbouring property
25. If you're travelling this summer, check the Fire Danger Rating for your destination before you go and when you arrive, and listen to local radio for warnings and advice while you’re on the road
26. Download the Fire Ready app, and save the South Australian Bushfire Information Line number – 1300 362 361 – into your mobile phone.
The CFS Fire Ready App
27. The CFS Can I Can’t I brochure explains what you legally can and can’t do during the fire danger period and on days of total fire ban. Copies are available from the CFS website, your local brigade or the South Australian Bushfire Information Line.