What to do in the event of a bushfire :: CFS

What to do in the event of a bushfire

All residents living in bushfire risk areas need to have a pre-prepared checklist and prepared and practised Bushfire Survival Plan listing what their actions will be in the event of a bushfire.  Include simple things that can be acted upon immediately.  To make your checklist easier to follow divide it up into things to do inside and outside the house before, during and after the bushfire has passed.  The actions below will assist if you are staying to defend your property or are unable to leave.

Remember, property can be replaced but lives cannot, if you intend to leave early, make sure that you do so either early in the morning or even the night before.

As fire front approaches


  • Alert family and neighbours.
  • Bring pets inside.
  • Dress in protective clothing.
  • Shut all doors and windows.
  • Fill bath, sinks and buckets etc with water.
  • Place wet towels in any crevices, such as gaps under doors etc.
  • Take curtains down and push furniture away from windows.
  • Place ladder in ceiling access ready to inspect ceiling cavity.


  • Remove last minute combustibles from around house including flammable blinds, wooden furniture and doormats etc.
  • Start pump for fire hose and/or roof sprinklers. (Make sure to manage your water supply well, so that there is sufficient water left for when the fire front actually arrives)
  • Wet down all areas on side of house facing the direction of the fire.
  • Dampen window ledges allowing water to penetrate any gaps.
  • Plug drains and fill gutters with water.
  • Wet down any pre-determined problem areas.
  • Patrol for spot fires and extinguish

When fire front arrives

  • Retreat inside your home.
  • Bring buckets, hoses, mops and tap fittings etc inside with you.
  • Patrol inside for spot fires and extinguish.
  • Check ceiling cavity.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Reassure family and pets.
  • Make sure you are situated in a room with two exits

After fire front has passed

  • Return outside when safe to do so.
  • Patrol for spot fires and extinguish.
  • Continue to patrol for 3-8 hours.
  • Let family and neighbours know you're okay.
  • Continue drinking plenty of water.