The following Ministerial statement was read into Parliament today by the Emergency Services Minister Hon Fran Logan MLA
DEPARTMENT OF FIRE AND EMERGENCY SERVICES — WINTERSAFE CAMPAIGN
I rise to inform the house about the important work being done by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services to raise community awareness of winter hazards. Formerly, a combined WinterSAFE campaign was used to promote storm safety and home fire safety. This year, the campaigns were separated to emphasise the unique threats posed by each hazard.
The storm safety campaign began in June with the release of a resource kit that DFES staff and volunteers, including State Emergency Service unit members, can use to promote storm safety messages in their communities. Resources include eye-catching videos and to-do lists for storm preparation, which SES units can post on their Facebook pages. These resources help SES units to engage with their communities and encourage preparations, such as cleaning gutters, trimming trees that are near powerlines and tying down loose items in yards.
The home fire safety campaign began last month and includes important messages about working smoke alarms. The campaign was launched along with a virtual reality experience of a real fire. The experience allows users wearing a virtual reality headset to witness what it is like to be in a home that is on fire, including watching the smoke and flames take hold of a room. To create this experience, qualified firefighters set fire to an old public housing property in Beaconsfield and then filmed a family fleeing the home with the fire taking hold of the property within minutes.
I trialled the virtual reality headset as part of last month’s launch and it was an extremely powerful and sobering experience. I encourage members to let their communities know about the experience and take a look for themselves at the DFES Education and Heritage Centre in the old Perth fire station. For those members with country electorates, a mobile version will be available in regional areas. The virtual reality experience highlights the rising risk of electrical devices that are left to charge, especially on beds, cloth sofas and other fabrics. Incidents involving such devices doubled last year so I ask members to please share this message with their electorates to ensure people power their devices on less combustible surfaces, such as a tabletop. Members can readily share all communication engagement resources from the DFES website or social media pages.
In closing, I thank DFES for these two campaigns and encourage all members in this house to promote the resources available to their communities to ensure that all Western Australians stay safe this winter.