Fire and Emergency Services Regulations strengthened to lessen the risk of ignitions
Several amendments will be introduced in the Fire and Emergency Services Regulations from 1 March 2021 to help reduce the risk of bushfires in South Australia.
"The Fire and Emergency Service Regulations 2005 is the legislation that regulates the responsibilities of the Country Fire Service, and the restrictions and conditions that are enforceable during the Fire Danger Season and Total Fire Bans," CFS Director of Preparations Brett Loughlin said.
Amendments to the Regulations will provide greater details in the definitions of equipment that can and cannot be used during Total Fire Bans and conditions in which they can be operated under.
"We will see the size of minimum clear spaces required to operate hot tools, such as grinders and oxy cutters, extended from 4 metres to 10 metres," Mr Loughlin said.
"This will further help to reduce the risk of fires starting from sparks or hot metals emanating from hot tools."
Such tools may still be used within fully enclosed structures without restrictions.
"We have also listened to the concerns of the construction industry and have further refined the definition of cutting tools to better reflect the actual risks associated with carrying out certain activities," Mr Loughlin said.
Apart from changes to hot tool usage, initial expiation notice fees will also increase from $315 to $473 for people found not adhering to Fire Danger Season restrictions.
"Several parts of South Australia have been ravaged by bushfires in the past two years and although some of the larger fires were not preventable, many fires were.
"The amendments to the Regulations will further help the CFS, South Australian Police and Local Government Fire Prevention Officers curb irresponsible behaviour during our most dangerous times of the year, and in turn lessen the risk of fires starting when they are most difficult to control," Mr Loughlin said.
The SA Fire and Emergency Services Regulations 2021 document can be found here - https://www.legislation.sa.gov.au/LZ/C/R/Fire%20and%20Emergency%20Services%20Regulations%202021.aspx