October marks the beginning of the 2017 bushfire season, so today Canberrans are being urged to prepare their properties and have a bush fire plan in case of emergencies.
ActewAGL Branch Manager Asset and Network Performance Leylann Hinch said as the ACT Emergency Services Authority (ESA) has announced this year poses a higher than normal bushfire risk, we are reminding Canberrans to begin their bushfire preparations.
“We are encouraging Canberrans to make sure they are taking steps to prepare their home by removing flammable material, cleaning gutters, checking roofs and have a fire safety plan handy.
“Outside of the inconvenience of blackouts, when trees and other vegetation are too close to powerlines they pose a risk of bushfires.
“Homeowners and occupiers are responsible for trees in their backyard, so take a look and make sure your trees and vegetation are 1.5 metres from powerlines.
“If your vegetation is too close, contact an ActewAGL accredited tree surgeon, who is qualified to trim the trees safely. Please don’t do it yourself, it is just too dangerous.
“The tree clearing that Spotless and the Department of Defence have done in public places in the lead up to the 2017 bushfire season is greatly appreciated and ensures the risk of bushfires is reduced.
“It is also a good idea to have a home safety kit in case of a power outage. The kit should include a torch, batteries, battery-powered radio and first aid supplies.
“And if you see fallen powerlines or damaged electrical or gas infrastructure report it to ActewAGL’s 24-hour emergencies and faults line on 13 10 93 for electricity or 13 19 09 for gas.
However, if you see a bushfire or sparking, call 000 immediately”. For more information on fire bans, weather warnings and fire danger ratings, visit the Rural Fire Service website at rfs.nsw.gov.au and ACT Emergency Services Agency website at esa.act.gov.au.
These websites also include some useful resources for bushfire safety such as a downloadable Bushfire Survival Plan.