Bush Fire Season
Here is some of the items from the NRMA’s web site bushfire checklist, they are directed at home owners but much of it applies to our beloved shacks. To see the full list check their site at http://www.nrma.com.au
- Be prepared at the start of the bushfire season.
- Rake up dry leaves, trim grass and cut back overgrown shrubs and tree branches.
- Clean out gutters and downpipes.
- Remove all rubbish from around the house.
- Regularly recycle newspapers and cardboard. Don’t store piles of recycling material close to the house.Store flammable liquids and paint away from the house. LPG gas bottles should have the valve facing away from the house.
- Make sure you have a fire extinguisher and fire blanket (available from hardware stores) and know how to use them.
- Keep a torch and portable radio with spare batteries.
- Keep a ladder handy on site that can reach the roof, together with basic tools like a rake, spade, axe and saw. Ensure that the ladder and tools are locked away in your garden shed or garage.
- Put spark guards in your chimney and clean your chimney every year.
- Don’t park cars in long grass. Fires can start when grass comes into contact with a hot exhaust system.
- If you live in a bushfire-prone area, put fire-resistant mesh screens under verandahs or any areas where burning debris could enter.
- Starting Fire with water – How I nearly burnt my car down.
Advice when working on your Shack
Conduct a hazard assessment to determine if a Bush Fire danger exists. If there is the slightest risk that the work could start a fire following the controls below will reduce the risk:.
- Clear all debris and leaf litter for a radius of 5 meters around the work area.
- Thoroughly wet down the ground around the immediate work area.
- Place a canvas sheet on the ground immediately under the “hot work”
- Place a water bucket or fire extinguisher within reach and leave it there until hot work has ceased.
- Ensure all flame or sparks are kept away from dry, combustible materials at all times.
- Extinguish the flame as soon as hot work has been completed or if a long pause in work procedures is taken.
In addition to the above steps the following safety precautions can be taken:
- Contact local Government Offices on days of high temperatures to ensure total Fire bans are not being enforced.
- Ensure all vehicles and or machines are equipped with a fire extinguisher and that these are secured in a safe restrainer to the vehicle.
- All stationary spark producing equipment and machinery such as portable generators should be placed on ground free of debris and combustible material.
Reproduced from www.snakehandler.com.au
Snakes bite people for a variety of reasons. Most commonly it is because people deliberately interact with them, by attempting to catch, kill or hurt them.
There are only a small number of instances where Snakes accidentally bite people and no-one is at fault. Most commonly this is when they are stood on or picked up accidentally.
The important thing to remember is that snakes are much smaller than us; we must look like the equivalent of a ten story building to most snakes. In the animal kingdom if you are smaller than a predator you are food; this is the way most snakes think of us, as predators trying to eat or kill them.
In most instances if a snake is left alone they will move away from a confrontation; it is not often, if ever that a snake will bite or ‘attack’ a person for no apparent reason.
Snakes are not aggressive, but are highly defensive by nature.
Snakes are part of native Australian wildlife and are protected by law. If a person is found to be deliberately harming any native wildlife, including snakes, they can receive a large fine or time in prison. You also greatly increase your chances of snake bite if you attempt to kill or hurt a snake
The first aid for snake bite is relatively simple. The methods of times gone by of ‘suck and spit’ or the use of tourniquets are long gone. Developed by CSL, the company who make the anti-venines, Australian Snake bite first aid is possibly the most progressive in the world.
Compression Bandage: The use of a compression bandage is paramount; beginning at the bite site and continuing down the limb and then back to the top.
Lock out the joints and bandage as firmly as that for a sprain.
Splint the limb: A Splint is also recommended to prevent peristaltic return; venom is transported around the body in our lymphatic system not the blood stream. This is controlled by muscle movement, the use of a compression bandage and a splint reduces muscle movement and slows the progression of the venom.
Remain calm and still; phone for an ambulance using ‘000’ or ‘112’ in remote areas.
Drive: Passing out is a common effect of snake bite
Drink Alcohol: This can hamper the treatment process
Take Drugs: Including painkillers, this hampers the treatment process
Have the snake killed: Doctors do not need the snake to identify the type of antivenin to use, the use of a Snake Venom Detection Kit (SVDK) is now standard practice
Apply a tourniquet: This cuts off circulation, and once removed shoots the venom directly to the liver like a speeding bullet
Cut the wound: This can worsen the envenomation by adding it directly to the blood stream
The best thing you can teach a child is to stop and stand still if they encounter a snake… make a game of it; tell them to stand like a statue or a tree. They can then yell for an adult as loudly as they like as snakes do not have ears and are 100% deaf. They also do not feel vibrations unless their heads are directly on the ground where the vibrations occur.