Firefighters warn sparks from machines could cause havoc
WITH southeast Queensland in the grip of bushfire season, firefighters are reminding residents one spark from power tools or machinery could be enough to start a massive blaze.
Rural Fire Service area director Kaye Healing said current dry conditions meant even the smallest fire had the potential to spread quickly.
"Machinery such as tractors, slashers, welders and grinders can start grass fires, so anyone undertaking work around their property needs to do so with extreme caution," Ms Healing said.
"Our crews have recently attended a number of fires that were accidentally started through activities such as welding and slashing.
"Current fire weather conditions are catching people by surprise, and they just aren't prepared for how quickly a fire can start and spread."
Ms Healing said there were several precautions people should take when using power tools or machinery.
"If you must undertake these activities during dry conditions, you need to have appropriate resources to extinguish a fire if one starts," she said.
"Have someone other than the tool operator available to watch for ignitions.
"There is no room for complacency: One spark is all it takes to ignite a blaze that can destroy property, infrastructure and lives."
Ms Healing urged community members to report fires immediately to Triple Zero.
"The sooner we can respond, the sooner we can have the fire under control," she said.
"It's also vital people have a Bushfire Survival Plan, outlining what actions they will take to protect their family and property if a fire threatens."
For information, visit www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au.
Start preparing now
An unprepared property is not only at risk itself, but may also present a danger for neighbours.
Here are some things you can do to protect your home:
Clear leaves, twigs, bark and other debris from the roof and gutters
Purchase and test the effectiveness of gutter plugs
Enclose open areas under decks and floors
Install fine steel wire mesh screens on all windows, doors, vents and weep holes
Point LPG cylinder relief valves away from the house
Conduct maintenance checks on pumps, generators and water systems.