Developing a  fire plan

I refer to the article in Friday's The Courier (November  30) regarding Neighbourhood Safer Places or Places of Last Resort for Ballarat residents and in particular the Brown Hill community.

It's great to see The Courier bringing the issue of fire preparedness and planning to the forefront for the community.  As a CFA volunteer of many years, it is something I am passionate about and am anxious to ensure the community.  As a CFA volunteer of many years, it is something I am passionate about and am anxious to ensure the community has all the information available to make informed decisions in the face of fire season.

Within the City of Ballarat, we have five places of last resort.

As reported in The Courier

Buninyong CBD, between Learmonth, Inglis and Forest and Warrenheip streets.

Invermay Recreation reserve, Muscatel Road Invermay.

Midvale Shopping centre corner of Geelong road and Whitehorse road.

Ballarat CBD - ion the approxiamte area bounded by Lydiard, Mair Dana and Doveton streets

There is also one at Canadian Lakes Boulevard, in the vicinity of the intersections of Canadian Lakes Boulevard and Cardaby Way and Canadian Lakes Boulevard and Provincial Way.

While  places of last resort are vital and all residents should know where their closest one is, discussions of these places is almost a distraction from the important messages for residents for fire season safety.

Every family should have a prepared fire plan.  This plan should include all memebers of the family and identify whether you have taken all necessary steps to prepare your home and whether you will stay and fight the fire or if you will pack up and leave early.  It should identify a number of routes away from your property to safety and what you will take with you.

The places of last resort are a refuge for those who did not leave early or have had their exit blocked by fire or debris.

It is important to note that places of last resort are not a relief centre where residents can receive services including food, shelter, assistance to find emergency accommodation or other support.

As the summer fire season is upon us, it is vital that if you don't have a plan at this stage you go to the CFA website at www.cfa.vic.gov.au and complete this now.  Developing a fire plan is the most important thing you will do this year.

CR JOHN PHILIPS

Ballarat

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