As Victorians prepare to fire up the barbie and celebrate with friends this Australia Day, RACV has assured homeowners it is ready to help keep the party pumping in a home emergency.
RACV Home Services General Manager Aaron Flavell said that recent feedback on an independent product review website showed the type of emergencies that had affected RACV Emergency Home Assist subscribers during the recent festive season.
One member had been away during the storm on 29 December and returned home two days later to discover that the electricity had tripped and there was a leak in the roof.
“The RACV electrician arrived within an hour of making the call, which was amazing given it was New Year’s Eve”, the member wrote on www.productreview.com.au.
A broken water pipe on Christmas Day had one member in trouble, but a plumber arrived within 45 minutes to fix the problem. Another householder was grateful for help when a toilet overflowed on a public holiday, while an older lady needed help when her lights went out on New Year’s eve.
“These types of incidents can be very inconvenient if they happen when you are entertaining or enjoying a day off,” Mr Flavell said.
Between Christmas and New Year’s eve, RACV Emergency Home Assist attended almost 2,000 calls for help from RACV members across metropolitan and regional Victoria.
“We attended an average of 279 incidents per day – more than twice our normal daily average – between Christmas and New Year’s eve,” Mr Flavell said.
“We know how difficult it can be to get hold of a tradesperson at this time of year, so it was especially satisfying to be able to help members get back to enjoying time with family and friends.
“RACV Emergency Home Assist is there 24/7 for our members in an emergency, but it is better if an emergency can be avoided through good maintenance and proper preparation.
“If you have time before your Australia Day celebration or before heading away for the weekend, we recommend that gutters and drains are cleaned and repaired.
“It’s also worthwhile making sure that electrical circuits are not overloaded by having too many appliances such as fridges and music systems connected to the same powerpoint or using too many extension leads.”
Pools and barbecues are naturally attractive features of any Australia Day celebration, but can also pose dangers.
“Victoria’s Emergency Services tell us that they respond to an average of one barbecue accident every day over summer. When there is a party atmosphere with children playing inattention can quickly cause a tragic accident,” Mr Flavell said.
“If you have a pool, make sure its fencing meets requirements, and move climbable objects such as pot plants, eskies, pool pumps and chairs away from the barrier.
“By following some simple steps Victorians can minimise some dangers before celebrating our national day with family and friends,” Mr Flavell said.
Hot weather is forecast for parts of Victoria in the lead up to Australia Day. In some areas there may be total fire ban restrictions in place. Not all barbecues are exempt on days declared a total fire ban. In the event of a fire call 000 for emergency assistance. For more information go to: http://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/warnings-restrictions/can/