Published in FAQ

Neighbourhood Safer Places

Monday, 21 July 2014

The 2009 Victorian Bushfire Royal Commission Interim report recommended that people need a range of options to increase their safety in the event of bushfire.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) recommends that all people living in a bushfire prone area have a personal Bushfire Survival Plan. This document about Neighbourhood Safer Places (NSP) should be read in conjunction with the Bushfire Survival Plan guidelines.

 

When a bushfire threatens, whether your decision is to leave early or stay and defend your property, you should use an NSP only in the event that your Bushfire Survival Plan fails. In other words, an NSP is a place of last resort.

An NSP is a local open space or building where people may gather, as a last resort, to seek shelter from a bushfire. Use of an NSP may be your contingency plan when:

  • Your Bushfire Survival Plan has failed.
  • Your plan was to stay but the extent of the fire means that your home cannot withstand the impact of the fire and therefore your home is not a safe place to shelter.
  • The fire has escalated to an ‘extreme’ or ‘catastrophic’ level and voluntary evacuation is your safest option.

The main purpose of an NSP is to provide some level of protection to human life from the effects of a bushfire. Your NSP will not guarantee safety in all circumstances. The following limitations of an NSP need to be considered if you plan to use one as a last resort:

  • Firefighters may not be present, in the event that they will be fighting the main fire front elsewhere.
  • NSPs do not cater for animals or pets.
  • NSPs do not provide meals or amenities.
  • NSPs may not provide shelter from the elements, particularly flying embers.

If you are a person with special needs you should give consideration to what assistance you may require at an NSP.

Although QFES cannot guarantee an immediate presence during a bushfire, every effort will be made to provide support as soon as resources are available.

You should identify the travel time and distance to your identified NSP. You should include this information in your Bushfire Survival Plan. You should update your plan every year prior to the bushfire season and confirm that your identified NSP has not changed location. You should not drive through fire affected areas to get to your NSP.

Click on your local government area below to view the designated NSP locations in your area. If there is not an NSP currently identified for your area, continue to monitor this site for updates.

Once you have arrived at your NSP (building) some actions to consider include:

  • Continually listen/seek/monitor further information in relation to the fire by whatever means of communication you may have (radio, mobile phone, internet etc)
  • As fire approaches – seek protection from radiant heat and embers as best you can. Attempt to cover any exposed skin with blankets/clothing. You should lie flat on the ground during the passage of the fire front.
  • Remain vigilant for possible new fire fronts from other directions.

Remember to complete your Bushfire Survival Plan to ensure that you and your family are prepared and know what to do in the event of a bushfire. For information about how to develop your own Bushfire Survival Plan click here.

To find your nearest Neighbourhood Safer Place, click here.

 
Source: ruralfire.qld.gov.au

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