What to do during and after a bushfire

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(KnowRisk)
13 December 2017

The most important thing that you and your family must consider before the onset of a bushfire is whether to stay and fight a fire, or to go.

If you don’t think you that you or your family can fight a bushfire then relocate as early as possible. Experience has shown that lives can be lost when people make a last-minute decision to flee. Lives and property can be saved with timely and adequate planning.


If a fire is approaching, make sure you:

  • Alert your family and neighbours.
  • Bring your pets inside.
  • Make sure everyone is wearing protective clothing.
  • Tune your radio to your local ABC AM station or other Emergency Broadcast Partner.
  • Shut all doors and windows in your home.
  • Fill your bath, sinks and as many buckets or containers with water.
  • Place wet towels under doorways.
  • Move your furniture away from windows and take your curtains down.
  • Wet down all areas of your home on the side facing the direction of the fire.
  • Dampen window ledges allowing water to get into any gaps.
  • Plug drains and fill gutters with water.


Once a fire arrives:

  • Go inside your house and bring buckets, hoses and mops with you.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Look around inside your house for embers or spot fires.


After the fire has passed:

  • Go outside and extinguish any small sport fires and embers.
  • Maintain a “fire watch”, checking for smoke and sparks throughout the house.
  • Let everyone who could be worried about you know that you are okay.
  • Stay tuned to the radio or emergency services twitter feeds for updates.
  • Stay home until you are sure the area is clear of fire.
  • Throw away any food that may have been exposed to heat, smoke or soot.
  • Do not use any water that may have been contaminated to wash dishes, prepare food or bathe in.


More information

Find more information on how to plan and prepare for a fire and learn about available resources at these websites:

Source: KnowRisk

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