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Preparing for a safe summer season

Mother and daughter in the swimming pool.

With summer now here, we all welcome the longer days and the warmer weather it brings. While we enjoy the warm weather it’s important to also protect yourself and your family so you can enjoy a safe summer season. 

Fire risk  
You don’t have to live in rural areas to be at risk of fire. If you live near areas with significant bush, forest or coastal scrub, then you need to plan ahead for the fire season.  

Do you have a plan A and a plan B for fire season?  
If you’re planning to leave, you will need to know what route you will take, and what your alternative is in case of road closures or if your route is blocked.  Visit the CFA’s website for more information on creating a fire plan.  
 
Remember, you won’t always receive a warning or be told what to do if a fire starts. During fire season, always monitor your local conditions and follow official warnings and advice using the VicEmergency app, the VicEmergency hotline (1800 226 226) and your local ABC Emergency broadcaster. We also encourage you to sign up to MyCFA to get local information on how to plan and prepare for fires and other emergencies in your area. 

Visit www.emergency.vic.gov.au for all the latest information and warnings. 

Heat health
With heatwaves becoming a regular feature of the Victorian summer, it’s important to plan ahead and consider how you can look after yourself and others when the extreme heat hits. 

There are simple things you can do to stay safe in the heat: 

  • Plan ahead. Schedule activities in the coolest part of the day and avoid exercising in the heat.  
  • If you must go out, wear a hat and sunscreen and always take a bottle of water with you. 
  • Drink plenty of water — always take a bottle with you.  
  • Hot cars kill. Never leave kids, adults or pets in hot cars. The temperature inside a parked car can double within minutes. 
  • Keep cool. Seek out air-conditioned buildings, draw your blinds, use a fan, take cool showers and dress in light and loose clothing made from natural fabrics. 
  • Help others. Look after those most at risk in the heat — your neighbour living alone, the elderly, the young, people with a medical condition and don’t forget your pets. 

If you or anyone you know feels unwell on a hot day call NURSE-ON-CALL on 1300 60 60 24 or call Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. For more information, visit www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au 

Water safety  
Most of us love a good splash or swim in the warmer months, but every year people — children and adults — are injured or killed in drowning or accidents around water.  
 
According to the 2022 Royal Life Saving National Drowning Report, between 1 July 2021 and 30 June 2022, 339 people lost their lives to drowning. 
 
Look out for each other around water and enjoy the water safely: 

  • Be aware of changing conditions 
  • Avoid going in the water alone 
  • Supervise children at all times. Keep watch and keep them within arms reach 
  • Wear a lifejacket when on a boat  
  • Avoid alcohol when swimming.  

For more information, visit www.vic.gov.au/water-safety 

Beat the Bite  
Warm and wet weather can mean more mosquito biting and breeding, including the ones that can carry diseases that make you sick. Here are some simple steps to help protect you and your family from mosquito bites: 

  1. Cover up. Wear long, loose fitting clothing because mosquitoes can bite through tight fitting clothing.  
  2. Use effective mosquito repellents containing DEET or picaridin on all exposed skin. 
  3. Install flywire screens on all windows and self-closing wire screens on doors.  
  4. Make sure mosquitoes can't breed around your property by regularly removing stagnant water. This includes in flowerpots, tyres, buckets, tins, bird baths, children’s wading pools and pet bowls. 
  5. Empty children’s wading pools when not being used and keep fishponds stocked with fish.  
  6. Limit outdoor activity at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active. 

Keep COVID safe 
With case numbers on the rise, you are reminded that vaccination, masks, ventilation, testing and staying home when sick help to stop the spread. COVID-19 treatments are also highly effective at reducing transmission, illness and deaths and also protect the health system. For more information, please visit the Victorian Department of Health’s website.