Category Archives: Community Education

When you change your clock, change the battery in your smoke alarm

Gisborne CFA has attended many house fires over the years that it has been around, and one of the most reassuring things that we experience is going into a building with the smoke alarms making a racket, and all the people usually in the house on the grass outside, waiting for us. One of the most frightening things that we face is knowing that there is a person inside who has become incapacitated as they didn’t know there was a fire and smoke in the house.

A smoke detector will tell you that something is wrong before it gets to the point that you are trapped and unable to call for help. It will help us to help you by making sure that we are called as early as possible, and will reassure you that help can be on the way as soon as you need us.

A flat battery in your smoke detector can bring all that good work undone.

Only working smoke alarms save lives. While you are asleep you are unlikely to smell smoke.  A working smoke alarm is vital to making sure you will wake up in the event of a fire.

How to keep your smoke alarm in working order:

  • Use long-lasting 9V alkaline batteries in your smoke alarm – by doing this you ensure year-round protection
  • Use the brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner to dust around the smoke alarm
  • Install photo-electric smoke alarms
  • Test smoke alarms once a month. The alarm should produce a loud “beep beep beep beep” sound whenyou press the test button using a broom handle
  • Replace all smoke alarms (both battery powered and 240v hard-wired) after ten years (the year of manufacture is displayed on the alarm)
  • Purchase smoke alarms that meet Australian Standards. Look for the AS3786 marking

Waiting until the smoke alarm beeps before you change the battery is too late – this indicates that the battery is already flat, and your family is not protected. Change your smoke alarm battery every year. firefighter_smoke_alarm_180x192

Do your kids know what to do when the smoke alarm goes off?

Simple actions like getting down low and crawling under smoke save lives, and every family should have a home fire escape plan that identifies all possible escape routes.

Smoke alarms for the hearing impaired

Special smoke alarms are available for the hearing impaired. These should feature a flashing strobe light and a vibrating pad that can be placed under the pillow to activate when the alarm sounds.

Hearing impaired smoke alarms can link with standard smoke alarms to alert all household members, regardless of hearing levels. When one alarm senses smoke, all will activate.

Other models are portable units that can be taken from one residence to another.

Smoke Alarm subsidy for deaf people

Profoundly deaf people can apply for a smoke alarm subsidy to help cover the costs of visual and vibrating smoke alarms.

for further details contact the Victorian Deaf Society.

Helping kids learn

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Last Wednesday Members of the Gisborne Fire Brigade visited the Good Start Early Learning Centre in New Gisborne.

Lieutenant Bevan Moody, who Manages Community Engagement for the Brigade, said that visiting schools and Kindergartens is an integral part of CFA’s service to the community.

“We visit schools and kindergartens regularly to teach children the importance of Fire Safety and Fire Awareness from an early age. Topics include, having an active fire plan, working smoke alarms and, most importantly, what to do in the event of a fire,” explained Lieutenant Moody.

Fire Safe Kids presenter, Ian Large, explained the importance of fire safety within the home and showed children what they can do in the event of a fire. Fire Fighters Tom Ruff, Ian Ward, Ethen Brailsford and Steve Blaker demonstrated how to “Get Down Low and Go Go Go,” while interacting with the children and answering important Fire Safety questions.

Fire Fighter Brailsford also donned Breathing Apparatus to demonstrate what a Fire Fighter looks and sounds like when entering a house; although we look a little scary the Fire Brigade is here to help.

For the kids the highlight of the day, as always, was getting the opportunity to get the Fire Hose out and squirt water around.

If your school, Kindergarten or Community Group would like the Fire Brigade to visit you please contact Mr. Bevan Moody or Mr. Ian Large from the Gisborne Fire Brigade on 54282596 or Email the Brigade at

Bushfire Preparation Meeting – 8/1/14

Come along to your local Fire Ready meeting at Gisborne CFA to find out the must-have information for this fire season.

Every season is different so even if you’ve attended a meeting before, it’s important to attend this one. We live in an area with a high fire risk, and preparation is the key to survival.
frv-meetingSpeak to CFA about:

  • How and where bush, grass or scrub fires are likely to start and spread around your area
  • The most essential decisions you and your family need to make
  • How to stay informed should a fire start and threaten
  • Tips and updates to help you start or review your fire plan

This One-hour Fire Ready meeting is a good opportunity to share views and experiences on managing bushfire risk, and make contacts or pool resources.

– See more at:


Latest media release. Gisborne FB

The Fire Danger Period in the Macedon Ranges is now in force. This means you cannot light a fire in the open air unless you have a permit or comply with certain requirements. If you don’t obtain a permit, you could be breaking the law and may be prosecuted. CFA in conjunction with Victoria Police have a zero-tolerance policy regarding illegal fires. It is imperative that all residents are particularly cautious when mowing and using powered equipment outdoors. For further information regarding what you are allowed to do during the Fire Danger Period go to the CFA website at

Your preparations for the Fire Danger Period should now be complete. If not, it is not too late. Check out the information contained on the CFA website at for suggested preparations that you can carry out. An important consideration for all landholders is to ensure that a fire truck can reach your house. For a fire truck to reach your house your driveway needs to be clear of trees and branches with a minimum clearance of at least 4m in width and 4m in height.

Stay informed with the local fire situations by listening to emergency broadcasters such as ABC radio, downloading the new FireReady app, visiting, monitoring the CFA Facebook and Twitter accounts and/or calling the Victorian Bushfire Information Line on 1800 240 667.


Thanks to the ongoing support of the Gisborne community we have been able to purchase a handheld Thermal Imaging Camera (TIC). The TIC has the unique ability to allow our firefighters to “see” through smoke to allow for the easier and safer combating of fires.

The Fire Brigade has been particularly busy over the past two months with firefighters working in the NSW Blue Mountains region, at Sedgwick near Harcourt and numerous small grass and scrub fires in Gisborne and surrounding areas over the past two months. In early December 140 people were evacuated from Jet’s Gymnastics in New Gisborne when smoke from an adjoining factory filled the gymnastics hall. Thankfully no one was injured.

We attended a total of 175 incidents for the 2013 calendar year.

If you drive past the Gisborne Fire Station you may see that we have created a memorial garden to remember our deceased firefighters.  Surrounding a plaque are five Fire Star roses. The garden was constructed by our members with the support of the Harry family.


On Christmas Eve the Brigade travelled the streets of Gisborne with Santa spreading Christmas cheer. Santa handed out 130 kg of lollies to the good children and adults of Gisborne. You may have noticed a change from the previous 30 years in the way we undertook this enjoyable task.

Santa 2013

Due to an expanding township, OHS requirements, and increasing time constraints on the hard working volunteers of the Gisborne Fire Brigade, this year we minimised the trucks from driving in small narrow courts and dead-end roads.



Smoke Alarms Save Lives

(L-R) Fire fighters Rex Pilgrim, Jason Gruevski, & Mark CarterIt is a known fact that a smoke alarm can save lives simply by giving your family early warning of fire.

However a smoke alarm with a flat battery is just as bad as no smoke alarm at all.

House fires are more common in the winter months, so fire fighters from CFA and MFB are urging all homes to take a few minutes and check your smoke alarms. A campaign is running to change the battery on the same day we come out of daylight savings.

Do your kids know what to do when the smoke alarm goes off?

Take some time to remind family members what actions to take if they smell smoke or see flames inside the home.

Simple actions like getting down low and crawling under smoke save lives, and every family should have a home fire escape plan that identifies all possible escape routes.

Zero Tolerance To Illegal Burnoffs

Authorities have announced a tough stand against people burning off in the Fire Danger Period.

On Dec 26, fire restrictions came into force which means no burning off without a permit.

The tough stand is aimed at reducing the risk of fire in the area with high grass fuels across the State increasing the risk of fast running grass fires.

Lt Peter Harry says landowners need to be aware of the law and warns that Police will deal with offenders.

“Each year CFA spends a lot of time attending to illegal burnoffs which puts the community at risk”.

For information on the Fire Danger Period, check the CFA website.