Your best chance of surviving a bushfire is to plan in advance and be prepared for the decisions you will have to make about leaving or staying and defending.

No one expects a bushfire to come their way. But the reality is that one can strike anywhere.

Getting your home, property and family prepared before a bushfire happens is your best chance of staying safe, and it may save your life.

Remember: You need to talk to your family and neighbours about what you will do in a bushfire to stay out of danger. It’s important that everyone understands what they need to do.

Have you had your 5 minute Fire Chat?

Most people underestimate what it’s like to experience a bushfire. A bushfire will turn day into night and sound like the roar of a jet plane. Smoke will burn your eyes, the heat radiated by the fire will sear your skin and the hail of embers coming down is relentless.

What would you do if a bushfire threatened your home and family?

Your first step to get prepared is to take 5 minutes and have a Fire Chat to discuss three lifesaving questions.

Start your Fire Chat now

Know your Fire Danger Rating

Fire Danger Ratings (FDR) tell you how dangerous a fire would be if one started. The higher the FDR, the more severe the bushfire will be.

If you are in a bushfire risk area you need to stay informed and know what the FDR is for your area each day.

When the FDR is extreme or catastrophic, it means any fires that start are likely to be so intense that even a well prepared and actively defended home may not survive. In these cases, your best chance of survival is to leave early. Finding out the FDR should be the first step in actioning your Bushfire Survival Plan. You should consider the rating when you decide whether to stay and actively defend your property or whether to leave early.

Know the bushfire alerts and warnings

If you live in a bushfire risk area, you need to understand the Bushfire Warning Systems before a fire threatens your home. The alerts give information on how severe a bushfire is once it’s started. Alerts have four warning levels indicating the increasing risk to your life or property, and the decreasing amount of time you have until the fire arrives.

Get the factsheet

For all current bushfire alerts and warnings visit

Prepare your emergency kit

Your household should have an emergency kit packed and ready to go if you need to leave your home for a safer location. Download and print this list so you and your family can tick off essential items.

Find more information about preparing an emergency kit here.

Prepare your home and property

Firefighters will be too busy fighting fires on the frontline to defend your home and property, so it is your responsibility to be prepared. Download, print and complete the Property Preparation Checklist to give your home and property the best possible chance of surviving a bushfire.

Asset Protection Zones

An APZ is a low-fuel, defendable space of up to 10 metres immediately surrounding a building, kept free from combustible items and obstructions. This provides a safer area from which firefighting operations can be undertaken to actively defend the building and increases the likelihood that it will survive if left undefended during a bushfire.

Prepare your pets and livestock

When preparing your bushfire plan, think about the welfare of your pets and livestock. You have a duty of care for them, and having a plan means you can act early to give your animals the best chance of survival.

If you can’t take them to an alternative location in advance, you should plan to find a safe area on your property for them to shelter. For livestock, look for a large, well fenced sandy area without trees or buildings nearby, and easy access to a dam. Ensure that your animals have access to adequate food and water.

Prepare your community with

Bushfire Ready is a community-led program that encourages local residents to learn about planning and preparing for bushfires by working together.