The usual Friday night dilemma, ‘What should I wear?’
So let’s start with dressing for safety and comfort so you will be ready to meet some of the toughest challenges you could ever be faced with.
We want to give you a sense of what it might be like to defend your home.
Let’s look at types of clothing that will provide you the best protection during fire conditions.
Here’s what to look for in your wardrobe:
- All natural fibres – they don’t melt!
- Loose fitting tough layers to shield you from heat, air pockets stop the heat conducting through to your skin.
- Full coverage keeps the embers out
- Solid enclosed shoes, work boots are great
- Leather or sturdy cotton gloves
- A mask, cloth or cloth nappy to cover your mouth and nose
- Very important – eye protection. Goggles offer the best protection from smoke and debris but sunnies will do in a pinch
It’ll be hot and tough! Look after yourself. cool off and take breaks when you can, make sure you keep your hydration up. Three liters per person per day is expected in these conditions, probably more with hard work.
Ask yourself these questions to see if you are set to defend:
- Am I physically and mentally fit for this? What’s my level of fitness.
- Do I deal well in stressful situations?
- Can I keep calm and focused despite smoky and noisy conditions?
- How long can you spend in these conditions wearing all your protective gear?
Important! If you decide to stay and defend
You must be sure you will be able to work safely. Keep in mind always that your safety is the most important thing!
If you get in to trouble, there is a serious risk to life or you spot an unattended fire, report to Triple Zero “000” immediately.
Tell your friends and family if you have decided to stay and defend so they can check in with you later.
You will be busy, if you can work in teams that’s safest – band together with neighbours if you can.
You won’t be able to do all of this and care for someone else, if you have little kids or injured or infirm adults in your care make plans to get them out of the area ahead of time so you can get on with the important task at hand.
Keep up your fluids, dehydration in hot dry conditions happens very quickly.
Keep snacks on hand too, without essential nutrients, the water may not be doing it’s job for you. Snacks and electrolyte drinks will really help.
Once you’ve nailed this task, give yourself the big tick for PPC (Personal Protective Clothing). Next step is to check that you’ve got the right tools for the job. That’s a subject for another day. One step at a time, hey?