Australia’s hot, dry summers make our country the perfect landscape for bushfires and with The Bureau of Meteorology reporting 2013 as the hottest year in Australia since records began in 1910 (and rising annually), fire safety is becoming increasingly important for both families and businesses. For many Australians, particularly those with homes or properties close to bush-land, summer can be a time of threat and devastation; with homes around Victoria already being victim to the heat.
Alongside the threat of bushfires, rising temperatures also bring about workplace dangers that stem from a reliance on 24-hour air conditioning to keep office temperatures (and staff productivity) intact, as well as heat-related mechanical and electrical failures. Vital computer equipment, such as servers, and critical plan and machinery, such as fridges and freezers that include air-conditioning themselves, all fall under greater risk of failure during the summer months.
To keep safety manageable and top of mind, Signal Security has developed a list of tips for making your home or business fire-ready this summer… and for summers to come.
- Plan ahead
Take the time with your family or business to sit down and create an evacuation plan, ensuring all members or employees know what to do in the event of a fire.
- Keep your property clear
Whether it’s a home or business building, it’s important to keep your property clear. Keep lawns short in summer and clear away any dead vegetation and tree branches to reduce the risk of fire spreading in your area. Many buildings burn during bushfires because of burning debris landing on or around the house.
- Regular smoke alarm and cooling system checks
One of the most effective and inexpensive ways to protect your family or business is by keeping your home smoke alarms and climate control systems regularly maintained. Use the daylight savings time change as a reminder to clean your smoke alarms and change the batteries. It is also recommended that you ensure your cooling systems are free from dust, cobwebs and other built-up materials that may affect the performance of your system. If you aren’t confident in doing this, we recommend calling a local heating or cooling contractor to do this for you.
- A stitch in time saves nine
Being alerted to equipment faults as soon as they happen can be the difference between a $200 repair bill and a $200,000 one. If the success of your business is dependant on equipment within a plant or manufacturing site, look to have it integrated into your security and/or building automation system so it can be remotely monitored. For example, our 24 hour Monitoring Centre can monitor the temperature of things like server rooms and fridges to alert you as soon as the temperature moves above or below a certain point that warrants an action.
- Cooling off period
Instead of having the cooling set at the lowest possible temperature (i.e. 18°C) and running 24/7, set your system to a realistic temperature like 22-23°C and use the timer function to give the system a rest every one to two hours. This will allow your machine to cool down and reduce the probability of it breaking down when you need it most.
- Adhere to local fire warnings and bans
Be sure to take note of local fire warnings in your area – even a simple outdoor barbeque can sometimes lead to accidental fires when the weather is hot and dry.
If you would like to discuss how Signal can better protect your home, your loved ones and even your business against the threat of fire, give our team of experts a call today on 1300 73 83 93 to arrange a free site check up – ensuring you’re as prepared as you can be when it comes to your own safety.