If you live in or near the bush, your home is at risk from bushfire. Bush includes bushland, scrub, grassland, farmland, heath, marram grass and buttongrass.
You should use these pages to guide you through the steps necessary to prepare your home so it can be defended against most bushfires.
Most bushfires in Tasmania occur during relatively mild summer weather and are easily controlled by firefighters. However, bushfires that break out on very hot, dry and windy days can spread rapidly and may be difficult or impossible for firefighters to control. These fires can burn large areas of forest and farmland, destroy homes and livestock, and sometimes kill and injure people.
A properly prepared home is more likely to survive a bushfire than one that hasn't been prepared, and the chances increase significantly if able-bodied people are there to protect your home.
Properly prepared and defended homes can provide a safe haven during almost all bushfires.
However, Tasmania Fire Service recommends that you should not plan to defend your home when the fire danger rating exceeds 50 (severe) in your area unless you have created a defendable space and ember-proofed your home.
Tasmania Fire Service recommends that you should not plan to defend your home when the fire danger rating exceeds 75 (extreme) in your area unless your home has a defendable space and has been designed and built specifically to withstand a bushfire.
Tasmania Fire Service recommends that you should not plan to defend your home on days when the fire danger rating exceeds 100 (catastrophic) in your area, even if your home has a defendable space and has been designed and built specifically to withstand a bushfire.
Daily fire danger rating forecasts are available during the bushfire season here, and in Tasmania's three daliy newspapers.
Exceptions to these rules are when firefighters have assessed (triaged) your home on the day a fire is threatening it, and have advised you that it may be defendable. This recognises that even on days with severe, extreme or catastrophic fire danger ratings, some well-prepared and constructed homes may be defendable due to their location. For example, a home surrounded by several hectares of ripening crops, ploughed fields or heavily-grazed paddocks may be safe to defend.
However, the safest option always is to leave before a fire threatens your home. If you are not staying to defend your property, you should plan to leave early. Many people have died in bushfires because they have tried to relocate too late, and have been trapped and burnt in their cars or on foot. Fewer lives will be lost if people who choose to leave do so well before a bushfire threatens their home.