Australia — A new bush fire warning system run by private enterprise is in operation around parts of regional Australia.
Bushfirealert.com.au uses the existing telephony system to warn properties in affected areas when a bushfire is near. A registration fee is charged per property and the owner is alerted on their nominated contacts via SMS, phone and email simultaneously.
The fire is reported to a dedicated phone number by other members of the community in the area, and when authenticated by the system the alert is sent to all property owners in the area registered on the site. They can then decide on appropriate action.
Bill OBourne from Adelaide based Skunkworks, who developed the bushfirealert.com.au system sees it as another way of local communities being aware in advance of fire danger.
Sounds simple, but will it work?
Murray Hillan from the NSW Rural Fire Service says that many systems have been suggested in the past, and battery powered radios are the best source of information if the power and phone systems are taken out by fire. He suggests that this new system be used as a secondary system only if people feel they need it.