If faced with the dangers of radiant heat from flames, body dehydration and smoke inhalation, emergency protection is possible, even in high intensity fires. Wrap yourself in a heavy, pure wool blanket and carry a flask of water to drink and moisten a blanket comer as a smoke mask.
In bushfires, radiant heat, dehydration and asphyxiation are the main killers. Well-prepared houses resist brief exposure to flames, protecting occupants who may save their homes.
Refer to the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service website for information on burn offs in your local area.
Bushfire Action Guide
In bushfires, radiant heat, dehydration and asphyxiation are the main killers.
Well-prepared houses resist brief exposure to flames, protecting occupants who may save their homes.
1. Before the Bushfire Season - Prevent/Prepare
- If possible, make a firebreak around your home (use mower, spade, rake), trim branches well clear of the house. Clear roof and gutters of leaves and twigs.
- Remove all rubbish, leaf litter and native shrubs growing too close to house, Keep grass short and green.
- Fit wire screens to doors, windows, vents, and enclose all gaps, roof eaves and the area under your house.
- Keep a ladder handy for roof acess (inside and out) and fit hoses to reach all parts of the house and garden. If water is not connected, obtain a high pressure pump.
- Store wood, fuel and paints well clear of the house.
- Check you have adequate insurance cover for bushfire.
- Decide on a household plan to either leave early or stay to protect your home during a bushfire (see below).
2. If a Bushfire Approaches
Leave or Protect If you prepare as noted above, unless you have decided to leave early or are ordered by authorities to do so, stay in the house after taking these extra precautions:
- Phone the bushfire brigade - don't assume they know.
- Turn off gas and power. Close all external windows and doors, and block gaps from inside with wet towels.
- Fill baths, sinks, buckets with reserve water.
- Plug downpipes with rags and fill gutters with water.
- Remove curtains and furniture away from windows.
- Wear long, woollen or heavy cotten clothing, solid boots or shoes, hat or woolen balaclava, and gloves.
- Hose down walls, garden, etc on sides facing the fire and watch for spot fires from flying sparks or embers.
- When the main fire-front arrives go inside, away from windows, while it passes (usually 5 to 15 minutes).
- Quickly extinguish any fires which may have started in, near, or under the house or roof. Check inside roof too.
- If the house is alight and can't be extinguished, move away into burnt ground. Don't leave - wait for help.
- Listen to a battery operated radio for official local information.
3. If Caught in Fire, Driving - Shelter in Car
- Don't drive into or near bushfires. If caught in a bushfire don't drive through flames or thick smoke.
- Stop at a clearing or roadside in a low vegetation area. Turn ignition off, and hazard lights and headights on.
- Stay inside unless near safe shelter. Keep vents, windows and doors closed. lie inside, below window level, under a woollen blanket until fire-front passes.
- After the main fire-front passes, if heat or fumes inside become severe, get out and move to already burnt ground, keeping your whole body covered.
- The petrol tank is unlikely to explode in the period you need to stay in the car while being shielded from the deadly radiant heat of the fire-front.
4. If Caught in Fire, On Foot - Find Shelter
- Don't panic - cover all exposed skin.
- Move across-slope, away from the fire-front, then down-slope towards the rear of the main fire.
- Find open, or already burnt ground. Don't try to out-run fire, or go uphill, or even through low flames, unless you can clearly see a safe area close by.
- If you can't avoid the fire, lie face down under a bank, rock, loose earth, or in a hollow, or if possible get into a dam or stream, but not a water tank.
5. Emergency Survival Requirements
If faced with the dangers of radiant heat from flames, body dehydration and smoke inhalation, emergency protection is possible, even in high intensity fires. Wrap yourself in a heavy, pure wool blanket and carry a flask of water to drink and moisten a blanket corner as a smoke mask.
Brought to you by your State/Territory Emergency Service.
Be Prepared for Fire
Research shows that more people die in house fires between June and September than any other time of the year. You can reduce the risk to you and your loved ones by learning about home fire risks and prevention. To find out how click the below link: https://www.fire.qld.gov.au/communitysafety/downloadlibrary/winter.asp