Fire Safety And Bushfires
Liverpool City Council (in recognition of its responsibilities) has implemented a Fire Safety Section to ensure that suitable fire safety standards exist in all buildings.
Please click on the following highlighted links for more information:
- Bushfire prone land maps
- Bushfire information
Information, fact sheets and checklists on how to respond to a bushfire and bushfire prone areas
- Bushfire management
Local councils have identified bushfire prone areas in collaboration with the Rural Fire Service and these are marked out on maps of the area
- Bushfire Risk Management Plan
- Neighbourhood Safer Places (NSP)
A NSP is a identified space or building within the community that can provide protection from the immediate life threatening effects of a bushfire.
- Assisted Infirm Disabled and Elderly Residents (AIDER)
Helping aged and disabled residents living in bushfire prone areas.
- Fire safety
Fire safety requirements of the Building Code of Australia
- Essential fire safety measures
Essential fire safety measures for buildings
- Smoke alarms
The State Government has legislated that as from 1 May 2006 all residential properties will be required to have smoke alarms installed
- Why is backyard burning banned?
- Fire Bans
- When is a total fire ban declared?
- How long do fire bans last?
Important information and forms about fire safety and bushfire management available for download
Bushfire season is a time for everyone, particularly those in bushfire prone areas, to exercise care and caution - every year houses, land and workplaces in NSW are threatened by bushfire.
Be aware of bushfires in your area. Make sure you:
- Watch the weather
- Monitor the radio for news of a fire's progress
- Organise yourself well in advance and pre-pack in case of relocation
- Dress in protective clothing
- Drink water frequently.
Being well prepared in advance, knowing what to do when bushfire threatens and understanding safety in a bushfire situation are vital in what can be, literally, a life or death situation.
For more information please visit the NSW Rural Fire Service website.
To help you know how to respond to a bushfire on the day, the NSW RFS has created a range of Fact Sheets and Checklists in conjunction with the NSW Fire Brigades, the ACT Rural Fire Service and the ACT Fire Brigade. If a fire has been identified as having the ability to impact on residential areas the following have been provided to assist you in ensuring your safety and minimise property damage.
For more information please click on the following links:
- Fact Sheet 1: Home Bushfire Survival Plan
For those that live in bushfire prone areas, bushfires are inevitable but they are also survivable. Survive these events by planning and preparing well in advance.
- Fact Sheet 2: Home Bushfire Preparation
By following these simple guidelines you can reduce the threat of embers and bushfire affecting your home.
- Fact Sheet 3: Bushfire Evacuation / Relocation
During bushfires, lives are most often lost when people make a last minute decision to flee their homes on foot or in a vehicle.
- Fact Sheet 4: Bushfires - How Do They Affect a Home?
Ember attack is the major cause of house fires during a bushfire. Properly prepared homes are more likely to survive a bushfire if well prepared able-bodied people remain with their homes to guard against 18ember attack 19 and extinguish spot fires.
- Fact Sheet 10: Home Fire Safety Checklist
The RFS recommends this simple safety checklist to assist in keeping your home fire safe.
- Fact Sheet 12: Home Fire Escape Plan
Every home and workplace should have a fire escape plan. Accidental home fires by their very nature can catch people unaware. Without an escape plan you are placing your life and your families' lives in jeopardy. For a safer home regularly practice the escape tips outlined in this checklist.
- Fact Sheet 29: Call Triple Zero (000) To ReportKnowing how to call Triple Zero (000) for a fire emergency can be the difference between life and death, or a building or other property being saved or destroyed. The triple zero (000) service is the quickest way to get the right resources from emergency services to help you and should be used to contact Police, Fire or Ambulance services in life threatening or time critical situations.
- After the Fire Guide
How to secure your premises and where to get assistance after a fire.
- Bushfire Preparedness - Your Pets
The effects of bush fires on both people and pets can be terrifying and traumatic. To minimise the risks to your family and pets make arrangements for their safety at the start of the Bush Fire Danger Season each year.
- Bushfire Safety Checklist
Handy checklist containing tips on what to do when a bushfire approaches, when a bushfire is close, as it passes over, and after the fire.
Source: NSW Rural Fire Service Macarthur Zone Website
Bush fires are part of the Australian landscape and are classified as a fire involving grass, scrub or forest. Uncontrolled bushfires, or hazard reduction burns on the outskirts of urban areas can significantly increase particle levels in the air and greatly reduce visibility.
Bushfires can present risk to life, property and the environment in the rural and urban areas and while the obvious answer would be to avoid development near bushfire hazards or prevent bushfires from occurring, neither are realistic options as we try to meet the growing demand for land and our understanding of the environmental processes which are dependant on fire.
Local councils have identified bushfire prone areas in collaboration with the Rural Fire Service and these are marked out on maps of the area. When there is a bushfire risk to assets or property (either existing or proposed development) due to forest or grasslands close by, that property is considered to be in a bush fire prone area.
Whether you live on a farm or in a bushland suburb, it is important to understand the risks of bushfire and make preparations accordingly. The NSW Rural Fire Service website has information on how to protect your property from bushfire www.bushfire.nsw.gov.au
Bushfire risk management plan
A Bush Fire Risk Management Plan (BFRMP) is a comprehensive document that maps and describes the level of bush fire risk across an area. The BFRMP identifies assets within the community at risk from bush fire, assesses the level of risk to those assets and establishes treatment options to deal with
the risk and who is responsible for carrying out those treatments. The BFRMP is used to determine such things as where mechanical clearing or hazard reduction burns are conducted, which areas require specialised fire protection, and which areas need to be targeted for community education.
The knowledge and opinions of local people about bush fires, important assets and potential risks is a focus of BFRMPs. Bush Fire Management Committees (BFMCs) will actively seek the opinions of local people through meetings and other communication channels when developing a draft BFRMP. Once developed, the draft plan will be put on public exhibition, and the community will have the opportunity to provide further comment. Once endorsed, a BFRMP is available to the public for viewing.
To view Liverpool City Council's Bushfire Risk Management Plan click here.
Neighbourhood Safer Places (NSP)
Neighbourhood Safer Places (NSP) is a new concept that has evolved out of the tragic Victorian 'Black Saturday' bush fires in February 2009. A Neighbourhood Safer Place (NSP) is a place of last resort for people during a bush fire. It can be part of your contingency plan, for a time when your Bush Fire
Survival Plan cannot be implemented or has failed.
An NSP is an identified building or space within the community that can provide a higher level of protection from the immediate life threatening effects of a bush fire. NSP's still entail some risk, both in moving to them and while sheltering in them and cannot be considered completely safe. They are a place of last resort in emergencies only.
For more information and to view Liverpool City Council's Neighbourhood Safer Places click here.
Assist Infirm Disabled and Elderly Residents (AIDER) Fire Safety
The NSW Rural Fire Service AIDER Programme (Assist Infirm Disabled and Elderly Residents) is a one-off free service, supporting vulnerable residents to live more safely and confidently in their home on bush fire prone land.
AIDER services can be provided to vulnerable people who have limited domestic support available from family, relatives, friends or other services. This could include older people, people with disabling conditions and people who are already receiving community assistance and services.
For more information on the AIDER programme click here.
Through an ongoing auditing program, particular emphasis is placed on inspecting existing high density residential development such as flats, aged care and motel accommodation.
These developments present a high risk to life in the event of a fire and may need to be upgraded to ensure the safety of the occupants.
Development Applications and Construction Certificate Applications lodged with Council are also assessed to ensure the proposed buildings will comply with the fire safety requirements of the Building Code of Australia.
Essential fire safety measures
Buildings which contain essential fire safety measures such as hose reels, hydrants, exit signs, portable fire extinguishers, fire and smoke alarms and the like are required to have an Annual Fire Safety Statement submitted to Council and the NSW Fire Brigades.
Our Fire Safety Officers work to ensure that the owners of all buildings that contain these items are aware of their obligation under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, 1979.
From 1 November 2006, it will become an offence not to have smoke alarms in all homes and other shared accommodation buildings where people sleep.
The State Government has legislated that as from 1 May 2006 all residential properties will be required to have smoke alarms installed. The regulations which reflect these changes and provides specifics details as to types of residential buildings and alarm systems will be finalised shortly by the NSW Department Planning. For more information please visit the following highlighted link to the NSW Department of Planning - Smoke alarms
For further information in relation to the changes to the Residential Tenancies Act, 1987, please call the NSW Office of Fair Trading on 133 220.
- Smoke alarms
- What does the legislation mean?
- Is my building affected?
- What type of smoke alarm do I need?
- Where can I get a smoke alarm?
- Where should I install them?
- How do I maintain my smoke alarms?
- What is the NSWFB policy on smoke alarms?
Backyard burning is not allowed in the Liverpool local government area. This includes all of the rural area.
Backyard burning includes the burning of any material such as household rubbish, building material and garden waste:
- In open fires in residential yards, on the street and in other public places
- In domestic incinerators
- In incinerators in home unit blocks
Liverpool local government area (LGA) is declared as a no burn area under the Protection of the Environment Operations (Clean Air) Regulation 2002.
At no time can you burn the following:
- Rubbish, recyclable material, building material or garden waste - please use the waste services provided by Council to dispose of this material, if you have additional material please phone Council to discuss alternatives
- Dead animals - the Eastern Creek Waste Management Facility will accept dead animals, you need to phone before-hand to arrange disposal.
Why is backyard burning banned?
Backyard burning has been banned due to contributing to approximately one third of Sydney's unsightly brown haze.
It also can lead to:
- Foul odours
- Fallout of particulates
- Emissions of potentially hazardous substances - for example fumes from burning plastics and treated timber.
This in turn has potential public and environmental health implications for the whole community.
The penalties for the burning of any material are substantial. Individuals risk 'on the spot fines' of $500. Corporations risk fines of $1,000.
Corporations responsiblef or fire outbreaks requiring emergency incident response face penalties of up to $1,000,000 plue a further $120,000 for each day the offence occurs, while individuals face penalties of up to $250,000 plus $60,000 for each day the offence occurs.
During a TOTAL FIRE BAN, no fire may be lit in the open. This includes incinerators and barbecues, which burn solid fuel such as wood, charcoal or barbecue briquettes.
You may use a gas or electric barbecue, but only if:
- It is on a residential property within 20m of the house or dwelling
- It is under the direct control of a responsible adult
- The ground within 3m of the barbecue is cleared of all materials which could burn
- You have a continuous supply of water available.
When is a total fire ban declared?
Total fire bans are declared on days of extreme fire danger caused by a combination of certain weather conditions and dry vegetation.
Radio and television stations usually advise if a total fire ban has been declared.
How long do fire bans last?
The Rural Fire Service Commissioner can declare a total fire ban and the length of the ban is at his or the authorities 19 determination.
Penalty for offences
For lighting or causing a fire during a Total Fire Ban
- Up to $5,000 fine and / or up to 5 years in jail
- Higher penalties can apply in certain circumstances.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) may from time to time declare No Burn Days. The same rules apply as for a total fire ban.
Remember in an emergency 13 dial 000.
For more information you can contact:
NSW Rural Fire Service Liverpool
02 9821 9300
Rural Fire Service Information Hotline
1800 654 443
Rural Fire Service Fire Information Line (recorded message)
02 9898 1356
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Liverpool City Council
1300 36 2170