I love this trick for the Beemaster dirty word screening program. Ok, a man says to a guy look at my kitty cat, the dude says thats not a kitty cat, thats a bleep cat.
If you have just read the word bleep the program is working fine.
The experience down here has been for hotter and more unpredictable summers, as I know a lot of you have had recently. Combined with the urban sprawl, prolonged drought and firebugs, more and more of us face the risk of fire affecting our homes.
a fire can occur at any time. Not just bush fires, but fires caused through cooking, faulty appliances, defective heaters, kids and matches, the list is endless.
Every household needs a fire plan. You must develop one and practice it. Involve your children, practice getting out of the house at 3am with the power off and crawling along as though there is smoke. Make that second nature for your children. Have a rendezvous point etc.
Here is my local link to making a fire plan. I am sure your local FB has similar.http://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/residents/home/escape.htm
I think it is important for me to pass onto you some advice based on preliminary reports from the Royal Commission into our recent bush fires.
1. Do not rely on the authorities to be there to save you. If you think you have 4 secure exit points, all 4 will be blocked.
2. If you plan to leave, leave early. Leaving when you see smoke or flame is too late. Leaving early may mean a day or two before a bushfire hits. Plan for this event. make a list of belongings you need. Pre pack what you can. Are you willing to leave your home with your kids for 2 days "just in case"? If 200 people did in my State last year, they would still be alive.
3. Prepare a bag of documents etc in case you do not return to a standing house.
4. Do not rely on the media for accurate advice regarding the progress of a fire.
5. Do not rely on the advice of your neighbours, friends, relatives or blokes down the pub.
6. If you intend to stay and fight the fire, there is a real possibility that your hoses will burn and or melt when you need them most. Fire pumps will explode, your water will be cut off. What do you do now Rambo?
7. Never underestimate the speed of a fire. It can be travelling at 3mph one minute and 30mph the next. Spotting can occur 50 miles ahead of this. Day really does turn to night, the power goes off. You can see nothing, you cant breathe, your clothes are smouldering, there is nowhere to run to and no one to help you.
Believe me, some of you up there this summer will face fires that none of you thought possible. "Theres never been a fire here before" is not the way you should think. You should stand in front of your house, stick your hands on your hips and kiss your arse goodbye if you think it could never happen to you.
One thing you should definately do is a house audit. Think like a fire and have a look around your house. Are you living above a 5 car garage full of gas with propane tanks 6 inches from the house? Do you have gallons of fuel in the basement? Jet skis parked under bedroom windows? Motorbike parts sitting in fuel under the porch which is covered in oily rags? Do you park next to a hydrant? Have you got 30 cans full of paint, 2 jerry cans of diesel, 25 camping gaz cans and 14 marine flares stored next to your guns and ammo? Then again, you might not be able to see all this coz of the wood pile next to the back door.
So do you have a fire plan? Tell us about it, you could help save a life this summer!