'GET down low and go, go, go' may be the slogan Australians are all used to hearing when it comes to protecting ourselves in a fire, but are Australians planned and prepared for danger if a fire were to spark?
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As of September 1, a new Australian Fire Danger Rating System has been delivered in order to provide more relevant and accurate information in regards to how dangerous weather conditions are on any given day.
Eglinton Rural Fire Service captain Steve Plummer said that the new ratings will help the public to better understand the system.
"We're changing the fire danger ratings to basically simplify it for the public," Mr Plummer said.
The system has gone from six settings, to four settings.
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"I think the new settings will make it a lot easier for people to understand. There was a lot of confusion with the old system, especially in regards to what people need to do at the higher levels," Mr Plummer said.
"There's four major categories now and each category has a distinct action or plan involved."
The new fire danger ratings are moderate [plan and prepare], high [be ready to act], extreme [take action now] and catastrophic [for your survival leave bushfire risk areas].
As well as the four major classified rating levels, there is also a fifth rating to be used when there is minimal risk.
This will be known as 'no rating.'
The new fire danger levels have been developed by New South Wales Rural Fire Service and in conjunction with AFAC - the Australian and New Zealand National Council for fire and emergency services - and the Bureau of Meteorology.
They are designed in accordance with new science technology.
In recent years, NSW RFS and AFAC have mapped the vegetation across the entire country and have utilised this information to determine the level of fire danger present.
The new system is based on eight different types of vegetation, instead of just using bush and grass types to measure the level of fire danger, thus making it more accurate.
"Over the years we've used a certain method of calculating fire danger but with scientific advancements, we've discovered that those old calculations aren't entirely accurate," Mr Plummer said.
"Now we have a new, more accurate way of calculating fire danger ratings."
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