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Bushfire safety tips

One of the great things about Australia is our native bushland. But living near the bush can also expose you to threat of bushfires – particularly in the warmer months.

Did you know?

Up to 50% of bushfires in Australia are deliberately lit or start in suspicious circumstances.

Here are some tips to help you keep your family, your home and your business safe this bushfire season.

Preparing for a bushfire

  • Assemble an emergency kit that includes things like first aid supplies, torch, battery operated portable radio, important documents and medicines.
  • Regularly clear gutters and rubbish from around the property.
  • Ensure everyone knows where the fire extinguishers are in your house or business, and how to use them.
  • Ensure everyone knows how to turn off mains supply for water, power and gas.
  • Make sure the property has clear access for emergency services.
  • Have an evacuation plan and discuss it with your family and/or employees.
  • Ensure your vehicle is in good working order.
  • If you receive a warning for your area, charge your mobile battery and fill up the car if possible.

At the onset of a bushfire

  • First and foremost, the safety of you, your loved ones and employees should come first. For any emergencies, please call 000.
  • Use local alerts and warning systems to get information and expert informed advice.
  • Follow emergency services’ advice; evacuate when directed to do so, as soon as you are told.
  • If you have to leave a car behind, put it in a locked garage or avoid parking it on surfaces such as grass which can more easily catch on fire.

Only if it is safe to do so:

  • Block the gutters and fill them with water.
  • Remove flammable drapes, curtains and any other combustible materials. Disconnect any automatic garage door openers so that doors can still be opened by hand if the power goes out. Close all garage doors.

After a bushfire

  • If you have evacuated, don’t return to your property or vehicle until emergency services advise it’s safe to do so. 
  • For several hours after the fire, maintain a ‘fire watch’ by rechecking for smoke and sparks throughout the building.
  • Use caution when entering burnt out areas as hazards may still exist, including hot spots which can flare up without warning.
  • If you have a safe, don’t open it as it can hold intense heat for several hours.
  • Avoid damaged or fallen power lines, poles and downed wires.
  • Discard any food that has been exposed to heat, smoke or soot.
  • Don’t drink or use water you think may have been contaminated.

Need to make a claim?

Click here for information on how to make a claim after a natural disaster.

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