It's hard to remember a summer that's been a longer time coming! As we brace ourselves for freedom and fun, there are a few things to keep in mind as the weather heats up, so we stay safe and well.

It's the perfect time to install all the best apps and follow the right advice, to ensure you're prepared for any summer scenario – from thunderstorm asthma to heat health and fire safety.

Fire safety – be prepared

Whether you’re staying put or holidaying far from home, keep fire safety top of mind – download the apps and take the easy steps below to stay safe.

Top tips for fire safety

  1. Be prepared at home – have smoke alarms, fire extinguishers and blankets; don't deadlock doors.
  2. Clear gutters and house surroundings of leaves, timber and other flammables.
  3. Check fire danger ratings daily.
  4. Plan to leave early.
  5. Monitor warnings.

CFA videos

Fire safety apps & resources

Download the official Victorian Government app for access to community information and warnings for all types of emergencies in Vic, and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Thunderstorm asthma – what can you do?

This uncommon but frightening and potentially deadly phenomenon occurs between October and December. Epidemic thunderstorm asthma events are triggered by an uncommon combination of high grass-pollen levels and a certain type of thunderstorm, resulting in large numbers of people developing asthma symptoms over a short period of time.

Top tips for thunderstorm asthma safety

  1. If you’ve ever had asthma, hay fever or wheezing during high-pollen season, contact your doctor for an action plan.
  2. Stay inside and close doors and windows during thunderstorms from October to December.
  3. Never ignore asthma-like symptoms like shortness of breath, chest-tightness or coughing.
  4. Know the four steps of asthma first aid.

Thunderstorm asthma safety apps & resources

High pollen and summer storms can be a deadly combination.

Water safety

Even the strongest swimmers can get caught in a dangerous rip, while accidents around the pool can happen in a heartbeat. Play it safe around water with these tips, apps and resources.

Top tips for water safety

  1. Always swim at patrolled beaches. If you get caught in a rip, stay calm and consider your options. Watch this video on how to survive a rip current.
  2. Never take your eyes off children around water.
  3. Never overestimate your abilities, or underestimate the risks around water.
  4. Don’t drink alcohol before swimming and never swim alone.
  5. Learn CPR and be ready to save a life.

Local training organisations can teach you CPR. We recommend Hero Headquarters (accredited first aid organisation started by VU paramedics graduate Nikki Jurcutz).

Water safety apps & resources

Heat health

Extreme heat causes more deaths in Australia than any other natural disaster. If left untreated, extreme heat can cause heat stroke, which is fatal in up to 80 per cent of cases.

The most at risk are the elderly, young children and those with existing health conditions. So take care of yourself and keep an eye on those around you with the tips and resources below.

Top tips for heat health

  1. Never leave a child in a car, even for a moment.
  2. If you or a loved one is taking medication, visit your doctor to see if you need to make changes to it as the weather heats up.
  3. Keep an eye on the more vulnerable members of our community – children, elderly and people with existing conditions.
  4. Stay cool, don’t exercise outdoors, and drink plenty of water.

Heat health resources to follow

Keep an eye out for those most vulnerable to the heat.

Be sun smart

In Australia we have one of the highest levels of UV exposure and highest rates of skin cancer in the world. Sun protection measures are recommended when the UV Index is 3 and above. Remember you can still get burnt on cool or cloudy days – so think UV, not heat. 

Avoid sun damage and potential skin cancer risks outdoors by remembering the Cancer Council jingle (there's a couple of new ones to learn!) – Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek, and Slide.

UV safety resources to follow


As a valued member of the VU community, we wish you an amazing summer break. Keep in touch – and tag us in your pics playing it safe in the sun!

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VU on Facebook

Contact us

For more information on safety at VU, please contact:

Andrew Williams
Senior Project Coordinator (Critical Incident & Business Continuity), Integrity
[email protected]