What can’t you do during a total fire ban?
Whether you’re at home, on a farm, or holidaying in a regional area it’s important you know what is and isn’t allowed during total fire bans. Failing to uphold restrictions can result in fines and even imprisonment.
You might be tempted to grill some steaks or snags during summer, but barbecue rules apply during a total fire ban. The barbecue in question must be either commercially manufactured exclusively for cooking, or must be a permanently fixed structure made of stone, metal or another non-flammable material. It must also be powered by either gas or electricity.
Make sure there is no flammable material within three metres of the barbecue, that a hose with connected water supply is nearby and that an adult is present while the barbecue is alight. Solid fuel barbecues that use wood, heat beads and other solid fuel types are banned, including outdoor rotisserie spits.
Put off any yard work that requires a chainsaw, lawnmower or trimmer where possible during total fire ban days. It’s not banned but should using these tools should only be done out of necessity as they can potentially start fires under the conditions. Use only defect-free equipment fitter with spark arresters and have a fire extinguisher on hand.
Burning off is strictly prohibited on total fire ban days, even if you’d previously been given a permit to do so. Any existing fires must be completely extinguished prior to the total fire ban day starting.
Common farm machinery powered by heat engines like tractors, excavators, slashers and earth-moving and road-making tools should be avoided on total fire ban days, particularly within nine metres of crops and vegetation.
If you must use such equipment on a total fire ban day, make sure it’s free of faults, has a spark arrester, turbocharger or exhaust-aspirated air cleaner, and has fire suppression equipment (such as a knapsack spray pump or water fire extinguisher).
Other ‘hot’ farm work like welding, grinding, soldering, using an incinerator and even beekeeping duties that involve smoke or flames are also banned.