Prepare a Bushfire Survival Plan
If you live in or near the bush, you should prepare a bushfire survival plan setting out what you are going to do to prepare your home for bushfire, and what you are going to do if a bushfire approaches. A written plan will help you think through the actions logically, and give you something to refer to when a bushfire breaks out nearby.
The plan should be prepared carefully and thoughtfully. Once you've prepared it, stick to it. If you've prepared your home and decided to defend it, don't panic and flee in your car at the last minute - you'll be much safer at home where you can shelter from radiant heat.
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.
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.
Your bushfire survival plan should include:
Let your family, friends and neighbours know what you are planning to do.
Remember that if your home has not been prepared and is closely surrounded by flammable vegetation, there is a high probability that it will burn down if threatened by an intense bushfire, even if firefighters are around to protect it. Firefighters will concentrate on saving homes that can be protected with minimum resources and without putting firefighters' lives at risk.
Therefore, regardless of whether you plan to stay with your home if it's threatened by a bushfire, or leave early for a safe place, the Tasmania Fire Service urges you to prepare your home so that it can be defended.
If you do not prepare your home and property so you can defend it against a bushfire, you should plan to leave early, well before fire threatens your home. Leaving early is always the safest option.