Prepare your home for bushfires

During periods of hot and dry weather, bushfires can present a real threat to your home, especially during high winds. In Australia, bushfire is a natural occurrence and one of nature's most devastating forces. Your home could be affected by extreme heat and strong winds, through burning debris and direct contact with the fire. Become familiar with the waring signs that indicate a bushfire is on its way and draw up an escape plan to avoid life-threatening situations.

You don't have to be surrounded by bushland to be at risk, just nearby to bushland. And for Queensland residents, that can mean semi-rural and urban residential estates on the outskirts of cities and towns; just about anywhere except inner city areas. When lives and homes are at risk, residents are faced with the decision to stay to protect their property or leave the area early. Leaving late can be a deadly option. If in doubt leave early.

Preparing and responding to bushfire is a shared responsibility. If you're a property owner or occupier, you play an important role, along with fire fighters, local government and communities. So, draw up a bushfire emergency/survival plan to prepare you home and your family for bushfire season. Everyone in your household, including your children, need to know what to do, where to go, how to keep in touch and how to contact the rural fire brigade or fire brigade in a bushfire emergency.

You need to discuss and plan in advance what your best options are for leaving your home as quickly and safely as possible. People who are well prepared can shelter in their homes and have an excellent chance of surviving. In the even of a fire, remain calm and co-operate with fire officers and Police.

Precautionary steps as recommended by the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service.

1. Preparing your home

  • Regularly clean leaves from gutters and fit quality metal leaf guards. Screen vents on roof voids with fine metal wire mesh.
  • Keep woodpiles and other flammable materials well away from the house and covered.
  • Keep your lawn short and the backyard tidy, free from any build up of flammable material.
  • Consider purchasing a portable pump to use from your swimming pool or water tank.


In response to recent devastating bushfires, the Building Code of Australia has a new standard - Australian Standard 3959:2009, which now has six levels of severity expressed as Bushfire Attack Levels. The Australian Window Association has produced a brochure to help builders understand the different construction requirements for windows and doors in each Bushfire Attack Level.