xfiredangersymbolFire Danger Ratings are one of the best ways to understand the daily fire risk so you know how to respond to protect yourself and your family. Fire Services Commissioner Craig Lapsley said Fire Danger Ratings tell you how bad a fire would be if one started.

“As the ratings increase, so does your risk of fire,” he said.

“This summer, you could be at risk of uncontrollable fires on Severe, Extreme and Code Red days. Talk to your household about where you’ll go on these days and when you’ll leave.”

Fire Danger Ratings are based on the weather conditions and other factors, such as how much dry vegetation there is. Hot, dry, windy days are the worst weather conditions for fire. Ratings are forecast using Bureau of Meteorology data up to four days in advance, and are declared by fire weather district. The three most important ratings to look out for are Severe, Extreme and Code Red. Code Red signals the worst conditions for a grass or bushfire and means that if a fire was to start, it would be uncontrollable. Most houses are not designed or constructed to withstand Code Red conditions. Leaving high-risk areas the night before a Code Red day or early in the day is the safest option. A rating of Severe or Extreme fire danger signals that if a fire starts and takes hold, it will be unpredictable and fast moving. If you live in a high-risk area, and your house is not prepared and you are not able to defend it, leaving early in the day is your safest option.

“Last summer, there were only four Extreme Fire Danger Ratings days and no Code Red days,” Mr Lapsley said.

“These days are rare and serious, but fires can still start and run on days of Very High and Severe fire danger rating. Don’t take any chances this summer – keep your family safe and check Fire Danger Ratings daily,” he said.

Check Fire Danger Ratings at cfa.vic.gov.au, by downloading the FireReady smartphone app or by calling the Victorian Bushfire Information Line on 1800 240 667.