Safety first at home and on the road this Easter
RACV has provided safety tips for Victorians about to embark on their first holiday period free of COVID-19 restrictions since 2019.
With thousands of families heading away on road trips to tourist hot spots or many taking the opportunity to relax at home, RACV Policy Lead - Safety, Elvira Lazar and RACV General Manager Home, Darren Turner, have provided some timely advice.
“We’re all really excited about the Easter holidays and the opportunities for travel and reunion. At this time, we need to take a moment to think about safety on the road and in the home,” Ms Lazar said.
“Take the time to plan your trip before you depart, attempting to take major, more well-maintained roads where possible.
“To stay aware of potential emergency warnings and community information that could impact travel, utilise resources such as the RACV arevo app, and the VicEmergency app – the official Victorian Government app.
“Schedule some breaks to ensure you’re well rested and have patience for your fellow motorists. Before you head off, make sure your insurance policies and RACV roadside assistance are up to date and that the water, oil and tyre pressure are all where they should be.”
In addition to ensuring their road trip is as safe as possible, there’s a lot that can be done to ensure Victorians do not return home to a different kind of tragedy, says Darren Turner.
“There are measures we can take to protect our homes and possessions while we are away,” Mr Turner said.
“Make a trusted neighbour aware of your absence and wherever possible, set a timer for some lights to come on at night. Double check that every single door and window is locked properly.
“For those planning to make up for lost time with more than one holiday in 2022, it’s worth considering installing an alarm system to protect your home and its contents – for a small monthly fee your peace of mind will improve whether you’re going away for a weekend or three weeks.”
For Victorians intending to stay at home and cross-off some items on their home maintenance to-do list, Trade Manager and licensed electrician with RACV Trades, Aaron Borg, has provided some advice that can help prevent costly damage and protect your home.
“Vital tasks that can protect your home from damage from flash flooding and bushfires include cleaning debris around your property, pruning trees close to your house, mowing the lawn, removing twigs and leaves in the gutters and pipes and sealing any gaps that may have developed in windows and doors,” Mr Borg said.
“Before you take on work inside the house, you need to be absolutely sure it’s work you’re qualified to do. One thing we see a lot in our role is people who want to do a bit of DIY work around their home and unfortunately make the situation worse. For plumbing and electrical work this is often illegal, not to mention extremely dangerous. That’s why it’s always worth your while to engage a qualified and licensed tradesperson and save yourself more time and money down the road.
“One of the most important things people can do is check the equipment they are using is adequate to safely complete a task. For example, before getting on the roof, check the safety and stability of the ladder, scope out a safe space to both embark and disembark and show extreme caution when cleaning high gutters.
“If you’ve got any doubts about your safety, taking the time to plan out the work you want to do can sometimes be the difference between success and injury.”