National Emergency Magazine Volume 8 2015

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Vol. 8 <strong>2015</strong><br />

www.emergencybulletin.com.au<br />

The Importance Of First<br />

Aid Training<br />

Prepare Your Home

Contents<br />

The Importance Of First Aid Training<br />

Prepare Your Home<br />

Drugs & The Law<br />

Create Homeland Security Department<br />

To Coordinate Agencies<br />

What Being A Paramedic Involves<br />

Protect Your Home From Fire<br />

What To Do After The Fire<br />

Pg4<br />

Pg6<br />

Pg8<br />

Pg10<br />

Pg11<br />

Pg14<br />

Pg17<br />

Front Cover: www.bordermail.com.au<br />

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small business organisations.<br />

A digital eMag version of this<br />

publication is available for view from<br />

the <strong>National</strong> <strong>Emergency</strong> Bulletin<br />

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in the <strong>National</strong> <strong>Emergency</strong> Bulletin<br />

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accepted by Searchlight Media Pty Ltd.<br />

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Email: info@<strong>Emergency</strong>bulletin.com.au<br />

Website: www.emergencybulletin.com

The Importance Of<br />

First Aid Training<br />

Being on the spot and responding<br />

quickly and effectively when faced<br />

with an emergency situation at work<br />

such as heart attacks, choking,<br />

drowning or electrocution makes First<br />

Aiders the heroes of the hour.<br />

For the accident victim, having<br />

someone nearby who is expertly<br />

trained to administer basic first aid<br />

is not only a legal requirement for<br />

businesses of all kinds and sizes, it<br />

also makes good community and<br />

commercial sense.<br />

Accidents happen, and having trained<br />

staff on hand and a first aid kit (or<br />

disaster preparedness kit) means<br />

enhanced safety for all.<br />

The history of first aid probably<br />

started with the 11th century Knights<br />

Hospitaller, who provided care to<br />

pilgrims and knights and later began<br />

to train other knights to treat common<br />

battlefield injuries.<br />

More recently, in 1863, four nations met<br />

in Geneva and formed the organisation<br />

that became the Red Cross, which<br />

aimed to ‘aid sick and wounded<br />

soldiers in the field’.<br />

Not long after, in 1877, St John<br />

Ambulance was formed to teach first<br />

aid treatment and by 1878, UK civilian<br />

ambulance services had created ‘first<br />

aid’ - a combination of ‘first treatment’<br />

and ‘national aid’ - in large railway<br />

centres and mining districts as well as<br />

in police forces.<br />

From there, first aid never looked back,<br />

with today’s generation of managed<br />

first aid training providers including<br />

alscotraining.com.au delivering<br />

corporate training programs and kits<br />

that equip employees in all industries<br />

to save lives every day.<br />

Today, the skills go far beyond the<br />

basic ABCs of first aid - Airway,<br />

Breathing and Circulation, where First<br />

Aiders first ensure the victim’s airway

is clear, then that the person is able<br />

to breathe and if not, they provide<br />

‘rescue breathing’, applying chest<br />

compressions (and thus providing<br />

artificial circulation).<br />

Once the ABCs are secured, First<br />

Aiders then can begin additional<br />

treatments as required, depending on<br />

the accident or illness.<br />

Today’s First Aider is likely to be<br />

trained in dealing with injuries until the<br />

next stage of definitive care (usually an<br />

ambulance with paramedics on board)<br />

arrives.<br />

First Aider training is generally<br />

provided by attending a course,<br />

typically leading to certification. Due<br />

to regular changes in procedures<br />

and protocols-based updated clinical<br />

knowledge – as well as to maintain<br />

skills - attendance at regular refresher<br />

courses or re-certification often is<br />

necessary.<br />

In Australia, nationally-recognised First<br />

Aid certificates can only be issued<br />

by registered training organisations<br />

(RTOs) such as alscotraining, which<br />

is accredited on the <strong>National</strong> Training<br />

Information System (NTIS).<br />

For more information on this topic visit:<br />

www.alscotraining.com.au/first_aid_<br />


Preparing Your<br />

Take time now to prepare for:<br />

Home<br />

2. General home preparations<br />

Emergencies by:<br />

• Preparing your <strong>Emergency</strong> Plan<br />

• Preparing your <strong>Emergency</strong> Kit<br />

• Preparing your home<br />

• Tune into warnings.<br />

These simple tasks can help you prepare<br />

for, survive, and minimise the impact of<br />

natural disasters.<br />

The best time to take action to prepare<br />

your home is before storm, cyclone and<br />

monsoon season.<br />

1. General home maintenance<br />

• Check the condition of the roof and<br />

repair loose tiles, eaves and roof screws;<br />

• Clean gutters and downpipes so water<br />

can drain away as quickly as possible;<br />

• Trim trees and overhanging branches<br />

• Secure loose items around your<br />

property and garden that could cause<br />

damage if blown around in high winds<br />

(such as garden furniture and toys).<br />

• Ensure your home, contents and car<br />

insurance is current and covers your<br />

assets adequately – check your policy<br />

includes debris clean up and disposal;<br />

• Identify which room is the strongest<br />

part of the house, in case you need to<br />

shelter in your home during severe storm<br />

or cyclone. Usually this would be the<br />

smallest room in the house, with the least<br />

windows;<br />

• Identify where and how to turn off the<br />

mains supply for water, power and gas;<br />

and<br />

• Purchase emergency essentials to have<br />

on hand.<br />

3. If you live in a flood-prone<br />

area:<br />

• Store all poisons well above ground<br />

level in case of flash flooding<br />

• Identify which indoor items you will need<br />

to raise or empty if flooding threatens<br />

your home; and<br />

• Consider the following:<br />

alternatives to carpet floor coverings,

elocating electrical sockets and powerpoints<br />

to well above floor level. Fill<br />

buckets and bath with clean water in case<br />

of interruptions to main water supply.<br />

4. If you live in an area prone<br />

to cyclone or severe storm:<br />

• Fit windows with shutters or metal<br />

screens for added protection during high<br />

winds; and<br />

• Arrange a professional builder to check<br />

your building and identify measures to<br />

increase the structural security of your<br />

home to withstand high winds.<br />

5. When weather warnings for<br />

cyclone or severe storm are<br />

issued:<br />

• Close windows with shutters or tape<br />

windows in a criss-crossing pattern using<br />

strong tape and draw curtains;<br />

updates on the event and further warnings<br />

and safety messages.<br />

• containers to store drinking water<br />

supplies,<br />

• spare supply of fuel for use in your<br />

• vehicle (ensure you store safely),<br />

• wide masking tape for windows,<br />

and Disconnect electrical appliances and<br />

all external television and radio aerials;<br />

Turn off electricity and gas main supplies<br />

if instructed by emergency authorities;<br />

Secure outdoor furniture and other<br />

garden items;<br />

• hessian bags and sand for sandbagging<br />

indoor drains to prevent sewerage<br />

backwash from flooding.<br />

For more information on this topic visit:<br />

www.emergency.qld.gov.au<br />

• Park vehicles under cover, away from<br />

trees, powerlines and waterways;<br />

• If you cannot access undercover shelter<br />

for your vehicles, secure with firmly tied<br />

blankets to minimise hail damage;<br />

• Check all household members are safe<br />

and are sheltering in the strongest room in<br />

the house;<br />

• Take your <strong>Emergency</strong> Kit in with you<br />

whilst sheltering from the storm or<br />

cyclone<br />

s• Listen to your local radio station for

Drugs and<br />

the law<br />

Penalties for drug use in the ACT<br />

The severity of penalties is ultimately at<br />

the discretion of the courts, however the<br />

following is a guide to the penalties that<br />

may be handed down. Life sentences can<br />

be given for the most serious offences.<br />

Cannabis<br />

With respect to cannabis in the ACT, it is<br />

illegal to:<br />

administer it to someone else<br />

possess any quantity of it<br />

cultivate or be involved in cultivating any<br />

quantity of it<br />

sell or supply any quantity of it.<br />

Penalties start at $100 fines for simple<br />

cannabis offences, and range up to<br />

$250,000 fines and life imprisonment for<br />

more serious cannabis offences.<br />

Ecstasy, Heroin,<br />

Amphetamines and Cocaine<br />

There are $5,000 fines and/or two years<br />

imprisonment penalties for possession<br />

offences. Trafficking offence penalties<br />

range from $100 000 fines and /or 10<br />

years imprisonment.<br />

ACT Drug Law Reform<br />

The ACT currently uses several legislative<br />

instruments for drug offences including<br />

the Drugs of Dependence Act 1989,<br />

the ACT Criminal Code 2002 and the<br />

Medicines, Poisons and Therapeutic<br />

Goods Act.<br />

Under these legislative instruments there<br />

are offence provisions for a range of<br />

drugs including modern synthetic types.<br />

The ACT is always updating legislation to<br />

keep pace with changes in drug markets.<br />

Drug offences amendments<br />

Precursors/manufacturing<br />

One of the more significant improvements<br />

the Act makes to the drug laws in the<br />

ACT is the inclusion of offences relating<br />

to "precursors". Essentially, "precursors"<br />

are the raw chemical components of<br />

a controlled drug. Many precursors<br />

are present in products that are readily<br />

available off the shelf in pharmacies,<br />

supermarkets and hardware stores and<br />

are commonly extracted in backyard<br />

laboratories to manufacture controlled<br />

drugs, particularly amphetamine type<br />

stimulants.<br />

The problem with the use of "precursors"<br />

and controlled drug manufacture has<br />

become particularly acute over recent<br />

years and accordingly the Act includes a<br />

range of offences to deal with those who<br />

manufacture, sell or possess "controlled<br />

precursors" to manufacture controlled<br />

drugs, and also includes possession<br />

of equipment for manufacture and pill<br />


Penalties relating to these types of<br />

offences can range from $100 000 fines<br />

and/or 10 years imprisonment up to life.<br />

Child protection<br />

A number of offences included in the<br />

legislation are for the protection of<br />

children. These include offences for<br />

procuring a child to traffic drugs and<br />

supplying drugs to a child for the child to<br />

sell.<br />

Penalties relating to these types of<br />

offences can range from $5 000 fines<br />

and/or 5 years imprisonment up to life.<br />

Cannabis offence notice<br />

The Act also includes some additional<br />

changes to the Drugs of Dependence Act<br />

1989 (DoDA). The Drugs of Dependence<br />

Act 1989 has been amended to reduce<br />

the number of cannabis plants which can<br />

be dealt with by way of a Simple Cannabis<br />

Offence Notice (SCON) from five to two,<br />

and exclude all hydroponically or artificially<br />

cultivated cannabis plants from the SCON<br />

scheme.<br />

The decision was made to exclude<br />

hydroponically grown cannabis plants<br />

from the SCON scheme as the trend<br />

towards hydroponic methods of cannabis<br />

cultivation indicates that the quantities of<br />

cannabis now able to be produced, and<br />

potentially the potency of that cannabis,<br />

are no longer in line with the original<br />

intentions of the scheme.<br />

The SCON scheme allows for a person<br />

to possess up to 50 grams of dried<br />

cannabis, or two cannabis plants<br />

(excluding all hydroponically or artificially<br />

cultivated cannabis plants) where it is<br />

deemed by police to be for personal use<br />

only, they can be issued a penalty order<br />

fine. If the fine is paid within 60 days, no<br />

criminal record will be recorded. However<br />

failure to pay the penalty order may result<br />

in criminal proceedings before the court. It<br />

must be remembered, that possession of<br />

any amount of cannabis in the ACT is NOT<br />

legal, it is only decriminalised.<br />

Police have discretion to issue a SCON<br />

or charge an offender with a criminal<br />

offence.<br />

For more information on this tpoic visit:<br />


Create homeland security<br />

department to coordinate<br />

agencies<br />

Appointing a new minister for<br />

Australian homeland security would<br />

free up the attorney general to take<br />

an “unimpeded view” on the merits of<br />

counter-terrorism law reform, senior<br />

bureaucrats have suggested in a<br />

report.<br />

The prime minister, Tony Abbott,<br />

released the findings of a review of<br />

the nation’s security architecture on<br />

Monday, coinciding with a speech<br />

in which he flagged changes to<br />

immigration laws to strip dual nationals<br />

involved in terrorism of their Australian<br />

citizenship.<br />

The report stopped short of calling for<br />

a department of homeland security<br />

but made clear that a new “flexible”<br />

department could have benefits.<br />

The formal recommendations outlined<br />

limited changes including appointing<br />

an official to serve as national counterterrorism<br />

coordinator and ensure all<br />

agencies were working in harmony.<br />

Abbott voiced his support for this<br />

measure, along with a review of the<br />

system for public terrorism alerts<br />

and a new strategy to counter violent<br />

extremism.<br />

But the report indicated that a broader<br />

overhaul of responsibilities could<br />

address tension between the duties of<br />

the attorney general, George Brandis,<br />

who oversees the Australian Security<br />

Intelligence Organisation (Asio) and is<br />

also tasked with safeguarding citizens’<br />

civil rights.<br />

“Currently, the attorney general must<br />

balance his duties as first law officer<br />

of the commonwealth with his national<br />

security responsibilities, including<br />

bringing forward measures restricting<br />

or even removing the rights of certain<br />

individuals,” said the report by the<br />

Department of the Prime Minister and<br />

Cabinet.<br />

“Appointing a separate minister<br />

responsible for a department of<br />

homeland security could free the<br />

attorney general to take a more<br />

unimpeded view of the legal

amifications and consequences of<br />

national security proposals.”<br />

The report said two models for a<br />

national security department included<br />

a large “super-agency” modelled<br />

on the US Department of Homeland<br />

Security or a small, coordinating<br />

department of home affairs based on<br />

the UK Home Office.<br />

A big new agency “would likely be<br />

less, not more, responsive” to counterterrorism<br />

issues because large<br />

bodies tended to be “less agile, less<br />

adaptable and more inward looking<br />

than smaller departments”.<br />

The report was more favourable<br />

towards “a small, flexible” body<br />

drawing on the UK model because it<br />

could “avoid many of the drawbacks<br />

associated with bureaucratic<br />

gigantism”.<br />

Such a department could oversee all<br />

relevant domestic intelligence and law<br />

enforcement agencies, including Asio,<br />

the Australian federal police (AFP) and<br />

the Australian Crime Commission.<br />

The review did not consider “the<br />

broader merits of such a proposal”<br />

because they sat “outside the scope<br />

of this report”.<br />

Speculation about changes to security<br />

responsibilities, including a potential<br />

homeland security portfolio headed<br />

by Scott Morrison, sparked tensions<br />

among affected ministers last year.<br />

In October, Brandis said the existing<br />

national security arrangements were<br />

working. “I agree with my colleague<br />

Julie Bishop who was reported<br />

yesterday as saying that if the<br />

institutional arrangements were to be<br />

changed then obviously those who<br />

would seek to change them would<br />

need to persuade, to demonstrate that<br />

they’re not working,” Brandis said at<br />

the time.<br />

The report released on Monday said<br />

the commonwealth had “strong,<br />

well coordinated counter-terrorism<br />

arrangements” but the rising threat of<br />

terrorism in Australia was becoming<br />

harder to combat.<br />

The reasons included the increasing<br />

number of Australians joining extremist<br />

groups overseas, the trend towards<br />

“low-tech, lone actor” attacks which<br />

are harder to predict and disrupt,<br />

and the exploitation of social media<br />

“to distribute published propaganda<br />

products”.<br />

The report said the disclosures by the<br />

former US <strong>National</strong> Security Agency<br />

contractor Edward Snowden about<br />

the extent of western surveillance<br />

on citizens were “making the task of<br />

maintaining a technological ‘edge’ over<br />

terrorists more difficult”.<br />

“It is worth noting that post-Snowden,<br />

relationships between intelligence and<br />

business have been strained, making<br />

it harder to access key data without<br />

legal compulsion,” the report said.

“Terrorist groups also have a greater<br />

knowledge of the technological<br />

capabilities of national security<br />

agencies, making it easier to evade<br />

surveillance and monitoring efforts.<br />

Agencies need to use increasingly<br />

intrusive and sophisticated monitoring<br />

measures.”<br />

The report also stressed the<br />

importance of working with at-risk<br />

communities to counter violent<br />

extremism and promote social<br />

cohesion.<br />

On Monday Abbott angered Muslim<br />

groups by calling on leaders to<br />

proclaim Islam as a religion of peace<br />

“more often, and mean it”.<br />

The Liberal MP for Reid, Craig Laundy,<br />

distanced himself from the comment,<br />

telling Sky News: “The Muslim leaders<br />

in my electorate are saying it every<br />

day and they do mean it.”<br />

Laundy said those leaders were<br />

“on the front foot engaging with<br />

congregations day in and day out<br />

and preaching the Koran the way the<br />

Koran should be interpreted in modern<br />

Australia”.<br />

Bishop, the foreign affairs minister, told<br />

parliament the government was intent<br />

on protecting those who were most<br />

vulnerable to the terrorist narrative,<br />

and she applauded members of<br />

the Muslim community in Australia<br />

who were “taking a stand against<br />

extremism”.<br />

The report said more must be<br />

done to strengthen cross-agency<br />

coordination and leadership, using<br />

Operation Sovereign Borders as a<br />

model. The new national counterterrorism<br />

coordinator could be filled<br />

by the Asio chief, Duncan Lewis, or<br />

a new senior position in either the<br />

Attorney General’s Department or the<br />

Department of the Prime Minister and<br />

Cabinet.<br />

Source, The Guardian



Being a paramedic is about a lot more<br />

than lights and sirens and rushing to<br />

help someone in need. Paramedics<br />

perform clinical procedures, administer<br />

drugs, maintain patient records and<br />

decide the most appropriate medical<br />

facility to take someone to.<br />

Paramedics help people in nonlife<br />

threatening situations too, from<br />

sporting injuries to routine transport<br />

between hospitals and health services.<br />

On any given day, a paramedic may:<br />

Attend medical emergencies and<br />

accidents which may require the<br />

administration of advanced life support.<br />

Assess, treat and manage the patient’s<br />

treatment en-route to hospital<br />

Perform invasive techniques such as<br />

intravenous canulation, administration<br />

of pain-relieving drugs, fluid<br />

resuscitation in the trauma setting and<br />

advanced airway management.<br />

Lift and place patients on stretchers,<br />

load the stretchers into ambulances<br />

and transport patients to hospital.<br />

Prepare patient care records and<br />

other written reports on the state of<br />

a patient’s injuries and the treatment<br />

provided. Triage patients to the most<br />

appropriate medical facility.<br />

Provide routine transport for patients<br />

from home to hospital and return,<br />

e.g. for patients requiring further<br />

treatment or specialised treatment<br />

such as occupational therapy and<br />

chemotherapy.<br />

Perform daily vehicle and equipment<br />

checks, making sure that ambulances<br />

and medical supplies (including drugs)<br />

are accounted for, and that equipment<br />

is in good working conditions.<br />

Attend public gatherings such as large<br />

sporting events, where accidents or<br />

other health emergencies may occur.<br />

Ambulance paramedics work on a<br />

rotating roster. The roster covers<br />

seven days a week, 24 hours a day.<br />

Rosters are provided at least four<br />

weeks in advance to ensure adequate<br />

planning time.<br />

Source, www.ambulance.vic.gov.au

Protect Your<br />

Home From Fire<br />

Are you fire safe in the<br />

home?<br />

- The fire services recommend this<br />

simple safety checklist to assist in<br />

keeping your home fire safe.<br />

- Installing an adequate number of suitable<br />

smoke alarms and testing them regularly<br />

is the first step in your home fire safety<br />

plan.<br />

- Having a written escape plan in case of<br />

fire and practicing it regularly.<br />

Make sure keys to all locked doors are<br />

readily accessible in case you need to<br />

escape.<br />

- Never leave cooking or any other open<br />

flame including candles or oil burners<br />

unattended.<br />

- Clean the lint filter of your clothes dryer<br />

each and every time you use it.<br />

Never smoke in bed and take extra care if<br />

consuming alcohol whilst smoking.<br />

- In Winter take extra care when using<br />

heaters, electric blankets or open fires.<br />

Don’t overload power points and<br />

- switch off appliances when not in use.<br />

- Always keep lighters and matches away<br />

from children and educate them that they<br />

are “tools not toys” to only be used by<br />

responsible adults.<br />

- If you have a garage or shed remember<br />

to take extra care with any stored<br />

chemicals and fuels and always refuel<br />

mowers, edgers etc when they are cold<br />

and in the open.<br />

- If you have a gas, electric or wood BBQ<br />

always check that it is in safe working<br />

order before lighting and that it is always<br />

in the care of a responsible adult when in<br />

use.<br />

- If you live in a bushfire prone area keep<br />

the ground around your home clear of<br />

leaves and other litter and remember to<br />

clean your gutters regularly.<br />

Fire safety tips<br />

- Remember that smoke from a fire will<br />

make you confused and that you cannot<br />

see in smoke.<br />

- When asleep you will not smell smoke<br />

and it will in fact put you into a deeper<br />

sleep.<br />

- If you have escaped from a home fire,<br />

remember once you get out stay out and<br />

dial Triple Zero (000).<br />

- Oil, gas or wood heating units may<br />

require a yearly maintenance check.<br />

- Only ever use fuses of recommended<br />

rating and install an electrical safety<br />


Smoke alarms<br />

If you have a working smoke alarm you<br />

are reducing the fire risk to yourself and<br />

your family.<br />

Legislation requires all NSW residents<br />

must have at least one working smoke<br />

alarm installed on each level of their home.<br />

This includes owner occupied, rental<br />

properties, relocatable homes, caravans<br />

and campervans or any other residential<br />

building where people sleep.<br />

Smoke alarms are life-saving devices<br />

that provide benefits for occupants. They<br />

detect smoke well before any sleeping<br />

occupant would and provide critical<br />

seconds to implement actions to save life<br />

and property. Smoke alarms are designed<br />

to detect fire smoke and emit a loud and<br />

distinctive sound to alert occupants of<br />

potential danger.<br />

Information from Fire & Rescue NSW<br />

Facts About Fire<br />

Working smoke alarms provide vital early<br />

warning in the event of a fire. When you<br />

go to sleep, your sense of smell also goes<br />

to sleep. Smoke alarms are essential to<br />

wake people if a fire breaks out, they<br />

give occupants early warning and time to<br />

evacuate safely.<br />

There are about 11,000 house fires in<br />

Australia each year. One in five Australians<br />

will experience a house fire in their<br />

lifetime.<br />

House fires are more common in winter<br />

months, when people are using fires and<br />

heaters.<br />

Approximately 800,000 Australians never<br />

replace their smoke alarm batteries,<br />

risking their home and family’s lives<br />

9% of the people surveyed are<br />

simply not concerned about replacing<br />

smoke alarm batteries<br />

Nearly half of the people surveyed<br />

(46%) do not have a home fire escape or<br />

evacuation plan for their home<br />

Of those surveyed, 66% are more<br />

likely to be concerned with installing<br />

pool fences than replacing smoke alarm<br />

batteries<br />

36% of people surveyed say they have an<br />

elderly relative, friend or neighbour who<br />

would benefit from assistance in changing<br />

their smoke alarm battery because the<br />

person is not able to reach it, does not<br />

have access to it or doesn’t know how to<br />

change it<br />

A sleeping person is unable to smell<br />

smoke and therefore cannot detect a fire<br />

Smoke alarms are available for the deaf<br />

and hearing impaired<br />

Battery powered smoke alarms are best<br />

fitted with long-lasting 9V alkaline batteries<br />

Smoke alarm safety tips<br />

Only purchase smoke alarms that carry<br />

the Australian Standards symbol<br />

Interconnect all smoke alarms so<br />

that regardless of where a fire starts, all<br />

smoke alarms in the home will sound to<br />

alert occupants at the earliest possible<br />

time test smoke alarms monthly and<br />

replace batteries yearly. Clean smoke<br />

alarms regularly (at least once a year) by<br />

vacuuming the sensing chamber

For those in newly built houses, it is worth<br />

remembering that mains power smoke<br />

alarms have back-up batteries that should<br />

be checked and replaced annually<br />

Try to avoid locating smoke alarms near<br />

cooking appliances and bathrooms.<br />

Smoke alarms are very sensitive and<br />

will activate with the smallest amount of<br />

smoke or steam i.e. smoke from burning<br />

toast and steam from a shower<br />

A fire doubles in size every minute<br />

3 to 4 minutes - a fire can totally<br />

involve a house<br />

5 to 10 minutes - a mobile home can<br />

burn to the ground<br />

4 to 20 minutes - range of 000<br />

response times<br />

Leading causes of fire in the home<br />

29% Appliances, Electrical, etc.<br />

21% Heating<br />

19% Cooking<br />

18% Unknown<br />

13% Arson (includes fires started<br />

by children)<br />

Areas of the home where fires commonly<br />

start<br />

23.7% Cooking Area (includes grilling<br />

areas)<br />

12.2% Sleeping Area<br />

8.1% Lounge Area<br />

4.9% Unknown<br />

4.4% Laundry Room<br />

Information From The Smoke Detective

What To Do After<br />

The Fire<br />

Now that the fire is out, there are a<br />

few things you need to know. Here<br />

is a check list to follow:<br />

Step 1 - Securing the site<br />

- Protect the fire site from any further<br />

damage by weather, theft or vandalism.<br />

Do not leave the site unsecured.<br />

- If you are the owner it is your<br />

responsibility to see that openings are<br />

covered against rain and entry. Make<br />

sure outside doors to the property can<br />

be locked and secured. The Fire Brigade<br />

will help secure the premises until<br />

responsibility can be handed over to the<br />

occupier or insurance company.<br />

- If you are the occupier contact your real<br />

estate agent or landlord and inform them<br />

of the fire. If you cannot contact them<br />

and you need professional assistance<br />

in boarding the premises, a general<br />

contractor for or fire damage restoration<br />

firm can help. Check your telephone<br />

directory.<br />

- If you plan to leave the site, try to remove<br />

any valuable remaining in the building.<br />

Contact your own insurance agent to<br />

report the loss.<br />

Step 2- Cautions<br />

- Household wiring which may have been<br />

water damaged should be checked by<br />

a licensed electrician before power is<br />

turned back on.<br />

- Check for structural damage caused<br />

by the fire. Roofs and floors may be<br />

weakened. The local Council’s Building<br />

Inspector may be able to help.<br />

- Food, drink and medicines exposed to<br />

heat, smoke or soot may be discarded<br />

in the appropriate manner. Refrigerators<br />

and freezers left unopened will hold their<br />

temperature for a short time. However do<br />

not attempt to refreeze thawed items.<br />

- The Fire Brigades will call for the<br />

services of the local gas, fuel and<br />

electricity suppliers to disconnect<br />

services before they leave the site.<br />

If a utility (gas, electricity or water) is<br />

disconnected, it is your responsibility<br />

to have the services checked and<br />

reconnected by a licensed trade person.<br />

Do not attempt to reconnect the service<br />

yourself.<br />

Start collecting receipts for any money<br />

you spend. These are important because<br />

you can use them to show the insurance

company what money you have spent<br />

relating to your fire loss and also verifying<br />

losses claimed.<br />

Step 3 - Insurance Claims<br />

Make personal contact with the insurance<br />

claims manager.<br />

- Advise the claims manager of loss or<br />

damage and give him, or her, a forwarding<br />

address and telephone number if the<br />

circumstances have forced you to leave<br />

the damaged fire building. The sooner the<br />

insurance company is alerted, the quicker<br />

the insurance claim can be processed, as<br />

the company has to alert the insurance<br />

assessor to carry out the inspection.<br />

- Try to form an inventory, as soon as<br />

possible, of household items either inside<br />

or outside the buildings which have<br />

been damaged by fire. The inventory of<br />

damaged items will further speed the<br />

claim when the loss assessor makes<br />

contact. Do not throw away any damaged<br />

goods until after the inventory is made<br />

by the insurance assessor. Should you<br />

be unable to recall the name of your<br />

insurance company, contact the Insurance<br />

Council of Australia.<br />

Step 4 - Leaving your home<br />

or how soon you might get an advance on<br />

your eventual insurance claim settlement.<br />

Provided it is safe to do so,<br />

try to locate the following to<br />

take with you:<br />

Identification Vital medicines, such as<br />

blood pressure regulating drugs or insulin.<br />

Eyeglasses, hearing aids, prosthetic<br />

devices or personal aids.<br />

Valuables such as credit cards, chequebooks,<br />

insurance policies, savings<br />

account books, money and jewellery.<br />

Notify these people of your new address<br />

Your employer, Family and friends, Your<br />

children’s schools, Your Post Office.<br />

Have them either hold or forward your<br />

mail, depending on the length of time you<br />

expect to be relocated.<br />

Delivery services like newspapers and<br />

milk, Telecom and the suppliers of gas,<br />

electricity and water.<br />

The Police, if the fire is under investigation.<br />

Meanwhile, do not contract for estimating,<br />

making inventories or repair services<br />

without first contacting your insurance<br />

company.<br />

Information from Fire & Rescue NSW<br />

If you have to leave your home because<br />

the fire has left it unsafe, contact the local<br />

police. They can keep an eye on the<br />

property in your absence. Check with your<br />

insurance company to find out whether<br />

you are entitled to stay in hotel as part of<br />

a temporary housing clause in your policy,

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