Bushfire – when is it safe to stay and defend your home?

If you live in an area prone to bushfires, you need to decide whether you will leave early or stay to defend your home when a bushfire threatens.

The most important thing to think about when you are deciding this is the safety of you and your loved ones. Always put your safety first.

Do not stay to defend your home if:

Do not stay to defend your home if

  • You are not physically, mentally and emotionally prepared
  • The Fire Danger Rating is Catastrophic
  • The Fire Danger Level is Extreme – it's only safe to stay and defend your home when you are highly prepared and your home is specially designed to withstand a fire
  • You have not already prepared your property or yourself to offer the best protection
  • There are vulnerable people in your home such as children, elderly or disabled. Your first priority is their safety
  • Your house is not designed to withstand a fire
  • Your home is surrounded by vegetation, or its construction is vulnerable to bushfire threats
  • Conditions are against you. Listen to advice from fire and emergency services – sometimes it's simply not safe to defend properties

Note: Your family may be put at risk of injury or death if you choose to stay and defend your home.

If you choose to protect your home, be sure you have protective clothing that will be effective against floating embers and intense heat. This would include an N95 face mask that will protect you against smoke inhalation., Make sure you also have an emergency survival kit that includes a complete first aid kit.

For information about how to treat burns, see our ‘First Aid Treatment for Burns and Scalds’ article.

The NSW RFS has published a web page – ‘Your Bush Fire Survival Plan’ – to help you assess the bushfire risks for your home. This resource includes a ‘Stay and Defend Checklist’ and more information about defending your property.

More articles

Workplace first aid article headerWorkplace First Aid
Outdoor Activity Safety PrecautionsOutdoor Activity Safety Precautions
House Party Injuries Article HeaderCommon House Party Injuries
Essential items for a home bakery first aid kitFirst Aid Kit Items for Home Bakers
Choking baby article headerHow to Save a Choking Baby
Towel Mistake article headerTowel Mistake Could Cause Drowning
Dangerous Chemicals in House article header5 Dangerous Chemicals in Your House
Avoid Electric Shocks at Home article headerStay Safe: Avoid Electric Shocks at Home
Electrical hazards article header newElectrical Hazards
Fire safety hazards article headerFire Safety Hazards

Recently published

Incorrect Mental Health Crisis Intervention article headerRisks of Incorrect Mental Health Crisis Intervention
Saline eye rinse article headerSterile Saline Tubes for Rinsing Eyes
Online Gaming Injuries article headerCommon Online Gaming Injuries
Common netball injuries article headerCommon Netball Injuries
What is Mental Health First Aid article headerWhat is Mental Health First Aid
Asthma myth article headerDebunking Common Myths Surrounding Asthma
Shock Blanket article headerShock Blankets
Postpartum depression father article headerPostpartum Depression in Fathers
Guide dog article headerProviding First Aid to Someone with a Guide Dog
Panic attack help article headerHow to Assist Someone Experiencing a Panic Attack