News Releases

Victorians urged to stay safe this New Year

back to list
31 Dec 2009
Victoria’s Fire Agencies are urging people to take extra care this holiday period.

With hot and dry conditions easing on New Years Eve and cooling across the state for New Years Day, Victorians are reminded not to be complacent about the fire risk.

CFA State Duty Officer Craig Brownlie said anyone travelling in Victoria these holidays should remain vigilant.

“Whether you are staying put or travelling in Victoria this Holiday period, you should remain vigilant and aware of changing weather and fire danger.”

“Many Victorians are away from their homes over the Christmas and New Year period, and people need to have a plan no matter where they are,” said Mr Brownlie.

“A lot of Victorians head to the beach or the bush during summer and they will not always have the same amount of local knowledge when away on holidays – it is everyone’s responsibility to have a plan, whether you live in a metropolitan or regional area.”

CFA crews around the state have responded to more than 3,700 fires since the beginning of the fire season – a stark reminder that fires can occur anywhere in the state and Victorians must be prepared.

Firefighters have also responded to a number of incidents in which children have been injured by barbecues and fires in recent months.

“Anyone using a barbecue during their New Years celebrations should take extra care” continued Mr Brownlie. “People need to ensure they check the gas cylinder for rust or damage and make sure that the connections are clear and fitting snugly before lighting. You need to be aware of what’s around your gas cylinder and take extra care around pilot lights.

“Care should also be taken around fires, children should always be supervised and flammable liquids should not be used on fires.”

The holiday period provides an ideal opportunity for people to complete summer fire preparations around the home.

“The recent fires in South Australia and Western Australia have shown us once again how quickly bushfires can impact on communities, and the time for Victoria to prepare is now as the warmer, drier weather returns.

“It is too late to start cleaning up around your home once a bushfire has started.”

Campers are also urged to take care when using campfires and are reminded of their responsibility to check on local restrictions before lighting.

“If in any doubt, the safest option is not to light a campfire,” Mr Brownlie said.

“They must never be left unattended and should always be completely extinguished with water,” he said.

Victorians can call the Victorian Bushfire Information Line on 1800 240 667 to get local information on fire conditions for your area.

For more information please contact: MFB Media & Communications on 9665 4699 or


Back to top
Facts and Features
Safety Tip

The Australasian Fire and Emergency Services Authority Council (AFAC) recommends monthly testing of smoke alarms to ensure they are working correctly.

Its True

Only working Smoke Alarms save lives.

Dial 000 for emergency