Know your closest Bushfire Safer Place
New statistics show that nearly half (42%) of South Australians living in bushfire prone areas don’t know the meaning of their local Bushfire Safer Place or where to find it.
A Bushfire Safer Place is an identified area that can provide relative safety and be used as a location for people who live in the area or have planned to leave early from high-risk locations on a bad fire day or during a bushfire. Although South Australia has had catastrophic bushfires over recent years, it’s concerning that people don’t fully comprehend the concept of established Bushfire Safer Places.
More often than not, people get confused with a Bushfire Last Resort Refuge which should not be used unless there is absolutely no other option.
The data, gathered at the conclusion of the 2020-21 fire season, also shows that one in three (29%) people are not aware of the meaning of a Bushfire Last Resort Refuge – with many people aged 18 to 39 appearing to confuse it with a Bushfire Safer Place. A Bushfire Last Resort Refuge is a space or building which could be used as a last resort to shelter from a bushfire. However, they only provide a minimum level of protection and do not guarantee the survival of those who seek refuge there, nor will there be any respite facilities in such locations. It is also unlikely firefighting appliances will be in attendance at such Refuges.
A last resort refuge should only be used when a designated Bushfire Safer Place cannot be reached, or if a person’s Bushfire Survival Plan has failed. It’s critical that anyone who lives, works, or travels through an area where a bushfire can occur knows exactly where the safest place to seek shelter is, and that they have a plan.
Now's the time to identify where your nearest Bushfire Safer Place is, plan how you will get there, who will be with you and what you’ll bring. In many cases this Bushfire Safer Place will be the metropolitan Adelaide area or a large rural town.
Some of the state's high bushfire risk zones are much closer to the CBD than many realise. Everyone should check if their property is within the defined areas of a Bushfire Safer Place as Adelaide’s suburban fringe teeters on potentially dangerous bushfire zones. It's important to know the risk in your area, and have a Bushfire Survival Plan in place - it takes just five minutes to complete.