What you will find on this page: videos (5); Bushfire Prone Areas/BAL ratings; preparing your plan: FireReady Quiz; CFA Fire Ready Kit; CFA Fireguard Programmore plan formats; plan format for older residents; business fire ready kit; other State planning material: ACT, NSW, SA & Tasmania; other guides – garden planning, pets, buildings, ember protection; comprehensive resource materialcommunity organisations – building resilience (links in blue)

 

FireAware Network – be prepared

Is your plan up to date? Do you have one?

Please note the information provided on this page is not for the purpose of giving advice and the Brown Hill Community FireAware Network makes no claim as to the accuracy of the content provided. The BHCFAN accepts no liability to any person for the information provided on this page. The information is offered in good faith for those wishing to take responsibility for their own informed decisions. 

Videos

A following light-hearted video on bushfire planning with a serious message has been praised by emergency services representatives. The video “Do you have a fire plan,” was produced by the Warrandyte Community Association and the Warrandyte Theatre Company, as part of a ‘Toolkit’ of six activities designed to raise awareness and understanding of the problem.

The above video was made specifically for the Warrandyte community but it can equally apply to all Bushfire Prone communities.

 Making your bushfire plan can be easier than you think

Source: NSW Rural Fire Service Access this site for more information and planning options

Clear up or clear out 

Source: CFA clearing trees and vegetation

CFA Prepare and maintain your property: Everyone in Victoria who lives near dense forest, bush, grassland or the coast needs to prepare their property for bushfire. Access CFA tips and advice to prepare your property.

Preparing for bushfire season

Have you prepared for bushfire season? This short video will ensure you know what to do to keep your home and family safe during the summer months. This video is brought to you by the Australian Insurance Association. 

NOTE: Some states’ highest rating is “catastrophic”; Victoria’s highest rating is “code red”

What are “Bushfire Prone Areas”? What are “BAL ratings”?

Bush fire prone areas are areas identified to be subject to, or likely subject to, bushfire attack. It is recognized by the presence of, and proximity to, bush fire prone vegetation, and includes both the area containing the bush fire prone vegetation and a 100m buffer zone immediately surrounding it.

A Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) is a means of measuring the severity of a building’s potential exposure to ember attack, radiant heat and direct flame contact. It’s measured in increments of radiant heat (expressed in kilowatts/m2). A BAL is the basis for establishing the requirements for construction (under the Australian Standard AS 3959-2009 Construction of Buildings in Bushfire Prone Areas), to improve protection of building elements from bushfire attack. Read More here (WA site) & here (Vic site)

 

Bushfire Facts and 12 Quick Tips – NSW Rural Fire Service

 NOTE: Similar tools mentioned in these quick tips are available from the CFA website for Victorians
Source: NSW Rural Fire Service

Preparing your plan

 FireReady Quiz

CFA Fire Ready Kit

 

The Fire Ready Kit has been designed to help you understand fire and plan for survival, beginning with the basics of preparing before the fire season, through to planning what to do if fire is in your area and you cannot leave. Download the Complete Fire Ready Kit – (PDF 3000k) | Text only version (DOC 96k) or in separate sections below. Businesses can access the Business Fire Ready Kit (PDF 3000k).

CFA Fireguard Program

If you would prefer to be involved in a comprehensive bushfire safety program then the CFA’s Fireguard Program might be what you are looking for. 

  • The program contains around eight hours of material (including group discussion and hands on activities) that can be covered in around four to six sessions.
  • CFA fire safety specialists work with your group to keep things on track and make sure all the important information is covered
  • Meetings are held in people’s homes, at a time that’s most convenient for the group — usually on weekends or in the evening.

Contact your CFA Region headquarters and ask for the Community Education Coordinator. Alternatively, text your name and location to 0429 423 692. A local coordinator will be in touch within a few days.

A variety of further plan formats are provided below

Do you live alone?

Do you live with children?

Do you live with pets?

Do you live with children and pets?

Source of above plans: Be Ready Warrandyte website

CFA Making Victoria Fire Ready: My Plan: In a bushfire or grassfire, people may be confused, disoriented and physically or psychologically stressed. In these conditions, making sound decisions becomes very difficult. A written and well-practised plan will help you remember what steps to take during a crisis

FOR OLDER RESIDENTS:

Red Cross Bushfires Prepare to leave early guide for people who will need help to prepare and to leave early when there is an increased bushfire risk.

FOR BUSINESSES:

CFA provides a Business Fire Ready Kit which goes through seven steps which will take you through the decision-making process involved in developing a bushfire plan to suit your business.

Other State Fire Services Planning Material

Other State fire services also provide a wide range of material to help their residents prepare themselves and their property for the bushfire season. All are saying much the same thing but present it in a variety of ways. You may find some of their material more appropriate for you. Remember you will need to make adjustments for different State services and locations.  

ACT Rural Fire Services 

Access ACT Bushfire Survival Plan here: During a bush fire, firefighters will be working to stop the fire, but the size and intensity of a fire could mean that a fire truck may not be available to defend your home. It is your responsibility to reduce the risk to your family and your home and take actions to survive a bush fire.

NSW Rural Fire Service

Fact sheets: Find here  a wide variety of fact sheets, including fact sheets on bush fire safety, land management, communities at risk, tourism and recreation, home fire safety and farm fire safety. A variety of the fact sheets are available in languages other than English on the translated fact sheets page.

Access NSW RFS Bushfire Planning material here

SA Country Fire Service

A good plan:

  • is prepared well before the Fire Danger Season and reviewed each year
  • is written down, so that the details are to hand when you need them
  • has been practiced, so you know how it will go on the day
  • is created with the whole family and covers everyone, including the young and elderly
  • includes what to do:
    • before the Fire Danger Season
    • on a Total Fire Ban day
    • during a bushfire
    • after a bushfire
  • can adapt to unforeseen circumstances.

 

An excellent starting point is the “CFS SA Bushfire Survival Plan Checklist” which you can download from the link. Also you can access SA CFS Bushfire Survival Plan web page here

Access SA CFS “Your Guide to Bushfire Safety” hereBushfires can start suddenly and without warning. They destroy properties and lives every summer. It’s not just the big fires like Black Saturday, Ash Wednesday and Wangary. Every year there are thousands of incidents and homes lost to bushfire. There is a real chance that you will experience a dangerous bushfire at some time in your life. While fires are inevitable, they are also survivable. You can increase the chances of survival for yourself, your loved ones, your home or business by taking simple steps to plan and prepare. The better prepared you are, the better your chances of survival.

Do you have a business or work in bushfire prone area? Bushfires can occur anywhere, at anytime in a regional or semi urban environment and there is no guarantee that the SA Country Fire Service (CFS) will be able to provide a fire appliance at every door. All businesses, organisations and people who work in or visit bushfire prone areas need to develop and implement their own Bushfire Safety policies, plans and procedures. Access SA CFS webpage for more information here and for organisations here

Do you holiday or visit in bushfire prone areas? Bushfires can occur without warning and can quickly impact your holiday location. If you are planning a holiday, you need to think about bushfire safety. Access SA CFS webpage for holiday bushfire awareness tips here

Tasmania Fire Service

Access their Bushfire Survival Planning web page here: An excellent resource to assist in decision-making to either to leave early or stay and defend.

 

Other guides that might be useful

CFA Prepare your garden Landscaping for Bushfire: Garden Design and Plant Selection

The Plant Selection Key is a practical tool developed to guide you in choosing plants suitable for use in a garden in a high bushfire risk area. The key comprises a series of questions and information about plant characteristics and their relative flammability. Access guide here

CFA Pets and bushfires – Whether pets are at home with you, relocated during high fire-risk days or brought along on holidays, you need to plan and prepare for their safety as well as your family’s and your own.
Victorian Building Authority: A guide to retrofit your home for better protection from a bushfire: Building and renovation ideas to better prepare your home in a bushfire situation. Following the devastating bushfires of February 2009, many people who were not living in the affected areas or who suffered minor property damage are reassessing their preparedness. Access guide here
Bushfire and Your Home: In a bush fire many houses are destroyed through ember attack, when burning twigs and leaves carried by the wind land on or around the house. Even houses away from the direct path of the fire can be affected. Look for the places embers could start fires – on the roof, under the floor and around windows and doors – and take action to prevent them. Access guide here

Illustrated guide: Defending your home against a bushfire Fire agencies recommend that you develop a bushfire survival plan. If you decide to stay and defend your home, there are some important things to consider. Access guide here
Checklist prepare to actively defend: You should have equipment to actively defend your home, protective clothing for all your family and a well prepared property. Access checklist here  

 

How to prepare your house for bushfire – home improvements: Anywhere embers can lodge or enter your house can start a fire. To reduce the impact of embers on your home there are some important building improvements that are recommended. Access guide here

Seeking a more comprehensive guide?

“The Complete Bushfire Safety Book” (2000) and the ready reference “Essential Bushfire Safety Tips”  (CSIRO 2012) written by Joan Webster, OAM, covers every aspect of protecting your family, your home, yourself and your animals from bushfire. “The Complete Bushfire Safety Book” has been acclaimed by bushfire authorities through Australia and many overseas as the most comprehensive and authoritative available. Its ground-breaking analysis of the stay-go dilemma following the catastrophic 1983 Ash Wednesday fires is still the most detailed.”Essential Bushfire Safety Tip”s  (CSIRO 2012) has been endorsed by the CFA as: ‘This is truly an outstanding achievement and a book that certainly could help save lives within the community.’  This book gives the benefits and dangers of every choice of action in every circumstance and deals with the pitfalls of the drastic post 2009 changes to official safety policy.

 They can be previewed and/or obtained online.

Complete Bushfire Safety Book (2000) www.randomhouse.com.au/books/joan-webster/.aspx
Essential Bushfire Safety Tips  (CSIRO 2012)  http://www.publish.csiro.au/index.cfm

Community Organisations – Building Resilience

Resilient Community Organisations is a toolkit to support community service organisations (CSO) assess their preparedness and build resilience to disasters and emergencies.