Bushfire awareness

Bushes and shrubs on fire by a red dirt track with smoke in the air

How many bushfires occur in Australia each year? The answer is not one, ten or one hundred. In fact, it is estimated that over 50,000 bushfires occur in Australia each year.

Most of these occur in summer, so there’s every chance you or someone you know could encounter a bushfire this year.

Burns, smoke inhalation and asthma attacks are a common result of bushfires. Do you know how to treat each of these?

Check out our ‘hot’ list of tips to keep you safe this summer from fires:

Burns

  • Whether it’s you, a family member, friend or someone you don’t know who has been burnt, the first thing to do is to stop the burning process!
  • Cool the burn with water and cover the burn with a bandage.
  • If you’re in an area where flames are still burning, where you can, smother the flames with a fire blanket or move away from the burn source as quickly as possible.

Smoke inhalation

  • Dizziness, nausea or vomiting, grey or black saliva and irregular breathing are all signs of smoke inhalation.
  • Smoke inhalation can be painful and uncomfortable for the affected person.
  • It’s treated by moving the affected person to fresh air if possible, calling 000 and sitting or lying the person down until further help arrives.

Asthma

  • If someone is suffering an asthma attack, it’s first important to sit them comfortably upright and remain with them.
  • Give four separate puffs of a reliever, using a spacer if available. Get to person to take four breaths between each puff.
  • This should be repeated every four minutes until help arrives or the symptoms calm. To help you remember, its 4 x 4 x 4!


Stay safe this summer and use our tips to look after yourself, others and those you may meet! Remember, everyone can be a lifesaver and even the smallest bit of help can be a big lifesaver to those in need!


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