Tips To Make Your Home Bushfire Safe

We don’t need to tell you how devastating a bushfire can be, that’s why we want you to be as prepared as possible. A detailed…
November 10, 2020News & Advice Back to All

We don’t need to tell you how devastating a bushfire can be, that’s why we want you to be as prepared as possible. A detailed bushfire action plan is vital as it will provide you with the tools to make informed decisions in a high-stress crisis situation and reduce the risk of serious injury, property damage and help protect your farm business.  


Preparing Your Property Year Round:

Fire safety planning and preparation should be done throughout the year to reduce the fire risk to your farm and livelihood during the peak bushfire season. Below is a list of some of the things you can do year-round to protect your property. 


Longer-term Precautions:

  • Prepare firebreaks.
  • Make the house safe – fit wire screens and shutters and fill in gaps around the roof, verandah and underfloor. Repair any loose tiles or gaps in your roof; cover windows, crevices and vents with fine wire mesh or flywire; repair or fill nooks and crannies where leaves or embers could gather.
  • Develop a 20m circle of safety to create a building protection zone around your home.
  • Develop a suitable hazard separation zone around buildings.
  • Reduce, remove and manage vegetation such as long grass within 20 metres of your home and 5 metres of any sheds and garages.
  • Install a sprinkler system with metal fittings to wet down your home and garden to reduce the impact of radiant heat, sparks and embers.
  • Provide an emergency water supply such as a dam, tanks, or swimming pool – don’t rely on mains water.
  • Discuss fire prevention with your neighbours – is your locality safe? What can you do together to prepare?
  • Plant lower flammability vegetation and a have well-managed garden – even well-maintained vegetable gardens can act as excellent fuel breaks.
  • Protect your assets with adequate insurance.


Autumn & Winter (May-August) 

  • Prune trees – remove lower branches, check that power lines are clear.
  • Reduce fuel levels around the house – clear long grass, leaves, twigs, flammable shrubs, and any dead vegetation. Check with your local council to see if a permit is required to burn off.
  • Petrol & other fuels – store in a shed away from the house. 
  • Make sure your personal and home protection equipment is in good order.
  • Overhaul the emergency water pump. 
  • Make sure everyone in the family knows what to do in the event of a fire. 


Spring (September-November) 

  • Move woodpile and stacked timber away from the house. 
  • Keep the grass short – slash or mow long grass, and keep grazing pasture pressure high on areas near the house. 
  • Prune dead material from trees and shrubs around the home. 
  • Clean out gutters, remove debris from the roof. 
  • Create firebreaks. 
  • Check and maintain all fire equipment and pumps.
  • Prepare an emergency fire kit.
  • Review, update and practise your Bushfire Survival Plan. 
  • Decide whether to stay or defend your property in the event of a fire or go early. 


Summer (December Onwards) 

  • Water lawns, trees and shrubs near the house to keep them green. 
  • Re-check personal and home protection gear, screens, water supplies and gutters. 
  • Maintain a defendable space of up to 20 metres around your home and 5 metres from sheds and garages.
  • Clear around trees.
  • Keep removing leaves from gutters.
  • Slash stubble near sheds and buildings (following regulations for Total Fire Ban Days).
  • Check reserve water supplies.
  • Practise your Bushfire Survival Plan with your family.
  • Ensure you have a portable battery-powered radio and spare batteries to listen to bushfire warnings.
  • Monitor Fire Danger Ratings.


Fingers crossed we won’t have to worry about any fires this fire season but remember, a well-prepared home and farm is more likely to survive a bushfire than one that hasn’t been prepared.



Information from Kondinin Groups Farming Ahead Magazine,, and Department of Fire and Emergency Services Western Australia.