On the afternoon of Thursday, 10 November, the wind gusts here in Canberra neared 30 kilometres an hour. The wind was bending powerlines into the backyard of one family, and when the lines touched the house a fire broke out. I am grateful that the family had their nephew at home at the time, because it was his quick thinking that prevented a near miss from becoming a tragedy.
Before the winds had a chance to spread the flames, Jayden Pappis sprang into action. He leapt the neighbour's fence, grabbed their garden hose and kept the fire at bay until ACT Fire and Rescue arrived to take over
Jayden's courage is commendable, and I congratulate him for his bravery. With fire season fast approaching, as the former speaker said, it is a reminder that, when it comes to fire safety, a stitch in time savings nine. So I encourage Canberrans to check the battery of your home smoke alarms. This is vitally important. If it is pipping then it means that the battery has gone flat. Clean your barbecue grease pan regularly, even though it is a revolting job, and avoid overloading power points and power boards by ensuring adequate ventilation around the board and also checking for signs of damage or discolouration. I hope Jayden's action serves as a reminder to all Canberrans to check which fire safety precautions are in place, because we cannot all expect to have a Jayden around when we need one.