Prepare your home for bushfire season
Information on how to make your home more resilient in the face of a fire. Take time before the fire season begins to get prepared.
How to prepare your home and property for a bushfire
Whether you live in your own home or you're a tenant, it's important to prepare your property before every bushfire season.
Complete as many of these tasks as possible to protect your home and surrounding properties.
On the roof
- Clean your gutters of debris.
- Install metal gutter guards.
- Repair damaged or missing tiles.
- Attach a fire sprinkler system to gutters.
Around your home
- Install fine metal mesh screens on windows and doors.
- Fit seals around doors and windows to eliminate gaps.
- Enclose the areas under the house.
- Repair or cover gaps in external walls.
Outside your house
- Keep lawns short and gardens maintained.
- Prune plants that overhang buildings.
- Clean up debris and dispose of green waste regularly.
- Remove flammable items such as leaves, sticks and firewood.
- Have hoses long enough to reach around the front and back of your house.
- Store gas bottles as far away from the house as possible with the outlet pointing away from the house.
If you have a rainwater tank
- Keep roof catchment clear of overhanging branches and remove vegetation surrounding the tank.
- Install first-flush diverters, leaf stoppers on downpipes, and gutter guards to help keep roof dirt and debris out of your rainwater tank.
- Make sure your rainwater tank is properly sealed to prevent vermin, like rodents and mosquitoes, from accessing it.
- If there is a bushfire nearby, disconnect the downpipes from your tank.
- If you have a pool, tank or dam, put a Static Water Supply (SWS) sign on your property entrance. This helps firefighters know where they can access water if they need it.
- Maintain adequate levels of home and contents insurance. Check your insurance policy is up to date.
See the RFS Prepare Your Home fact sheet for more tasks to prepare your property.
If you need help to prepare your property
The AIDER (Assist Infirm, Disabled and Elderly Residents) program is a service that can help with preparing your home for bushfire season if:
- you are unable to do it yourself and
- your property is on bushfire-prone land.
The program provides free support to:
- older people
- people with disability
- people receiving other assistance or community services.
For more information visit the NSW RFS AIDER webpage.
Information for tenants and landlords
If you have any concerns about the maintenance of a rental property, discuss this with the property manager or the property owner. Store copies of all communications in the cloud or on a storage device.
If you live near the bush, the 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Scheme allows you to clear some vegetation without seeking permission.
In rural areas of NSW, the Rural Boundary Clearing Code identifies areas where landowners can remove vegetation from their property boundary to help prevent fire spreading.
The Rural Boundary Clearing Tool can help you check if the code applies to your property.
A fire permit is required:
- during the Bush Fire Danger period
- if your burn is likely to endanger a building
- if it is in a Fire and Rescue NSW fire district.
Other rules may apply if you're planning on using fire, including restrictions on backyard burning. Check with your local council before you begin.
You should also check if a total fire ban is in force. If there is, your fire permit is automatically suspended. During a total fire ban you must not light, maintain or use a fire in the open. You also must not carry out any activity in the open that causes, or is likely to cause, a fire.