Common Bushfire Myths

Myth: Firefighters and Emergency Services will come and tell me when I need to leave.

Fact: To survive a bushfire, you must take responsibility for yourself and be prepared to make your own decisions. Do not 'wait and see', do not expect a knock at your door.

Myth: "I'll be fine, the bush is a few streets away."

Fact: Most houses are burnt in bushfires because of ember attacks. Embers can cause fires many kilometres in front of the main fire and can start falling up to an hour before the fire arrives at your home. You need to make sure that your home is properly prepared to withstand ember attack.

Myth: The Fire Danger Rating is the likelihood of a fire starting on any given day.

Fact: The higher the Fire Danger Rating, the more dangerous the situation would be if a fire started. If a fire starts on a severe, extreme or catastrophic day, the fire will be unpredictable, almost impossible to control or contain. Find out more about Fire Danger Ratings here.

Myth: The safest place to shelter in a house from a bushfire is a bathroom.

Fact: The bathroom is not the best location to shelter from fire. The room you choose to shelter in should be on the ground floor with two exits (one that goes out to a gravel or concrete area), preferably where you can see the fire front approach.

Myth: You don't need to evacuate from your home until an emergency warning.

Fact: By this time, it may be too late. Smoke reduces visibility, you may not know the safest route to leave and your route could be blocked. The safest option is to leave early.

Myth: I pay an Emergency Services levy in my rates, so Emergency Services will be available to defend my property.

Fact: There are not enough fire trucks and personnel for every house. Firefighters will do their very best to defend all properties which need defending, but they must make strategic decisions for the greater benefit. Preparing yourself, your family and your property for bushfire is your responsibility. Now is the time to prepare.

Myth: "We'll have plenty of time to pack up and go."

Fact: Bushfire can start suddenly and without warning. Now is the time to have a discussion about fire with your family, visitors and housemates about what you will do if a bushfire occurs. Have an Emergency Kit ready to go in case you are evacuated or cut off during a bushfire.

Myth: "I'll leave when I receive a text message or phone call."

Fact: A telephone warning might be sent to your mobile or landline in extreme circumstances. But this cannot be guaranteed and should not be relied upon for your safety. No warning system is foolproof - do not wait to be contacted by mobile or landline.

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