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Firies urge country music fans to be fire safe during festival

Published: 15th January 2019

Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) is reminding country music fans to take every precaution to avoid a fire while attending the Toyota Country Music Festival in Tamworth.

Country music fans will descend on Tamworth for Australia’s largest music festival from 18-27 January, with many visitors expected to stay at campgrounds and caravan parks within and near the city of Tamworth.

FRNSW will be focusing on community fire safety during the festival, with firefighters visiting campsites to check caravans, campervans and RVs for smoke alarms and reminding festival-goers to “keep looking when cooking”.

“Nearly half of all fires we attend are the result of unattended cooking, so we’re urging festival-goers to keep looking when cooking, avoid cooking under the influence of alcohol and never leave a lit barbecue, stove or campfire unattended,” said Superintendent Tom Cooper, FRNSW Zone Commander for New England and North West.

With many camping and caravan sites expected to be filled during the festival, Superintendent Cooper said it was also vital for visitors to have a working smoke alarm in their caravan or RV.

“You have just a few seconds to escape a burning caravan, so a working smoke alarm can mean the difference between life and death,” said Superintendent Cooper.

With temperatures tipped to climb into the high thirties and forties this week, Superintendent Cooper said visitors should also be aware that Total Fire Bans may be imposed during the festival.

“There’s been very little rain for the past 12 months and conditions are going to be quite hot and dry for the duration of the festival,” he said.

FRNSW offers the following fire safety tips for campers visiting Tamworth for the festival:

  • Caravans must have a working smoke alarm – it’s the law.
  • Avoid using candles or open flames inside a caravan or tent.
  • Leave a good space between you and the caravan next to you when you set up your site.
  • Ensure LPG cylinders are secured correctly to the caravan and that all fittings and hose lines are in good working order.
  • Ensure LPG cylinders are turned off at the main valve when not in use and spare cylinders have the valves pointing away from your van or RV.
  • Ensure your caravan has a fire extinguisher and a fire blanket in easily accessible locations.
  • Always extinguish camp fires before going to bed.
  • Never make a camp fire too close to your tent or caravan.
  • Ensure you are aware of campground policies on lighting fires, use a supplied fire place where possible and never light a camp fire in total fire ban conditions.
  • Be aware that total fire bans may be imposed during the festival. Check the NSW RFS website: www.rfs.nsw.gov.au
  • Never leave cooking unattended and don’t cook under the influence of alcohol.
  • Tamworth Regional Council, local radio stations and the Toyota Country Music Festival provide regular information including emergency warnings during the festival: www.tcmf.com.au
  • For more fire safety advice visit: www.fire.nsw.gov.au