Defending your home is risky - you could be seriously injured, suffer psychological trauma or die. The safest option is to be well away from the threat.
Defending a house requires at least two able-bodied, fit and determined adults who are physically and mentally prepared to work in arduous and difficult conditions.
Only consider staying with your property on Extreme or Severe days if you are fully prepared and can actively defend your home.
If you live in a high-risk bushfire area, leaving early is your only safe option on Code Red days.
Key factors to consider
- Your personal capacity
- Property preparation
- House design and construction
- Equipment and resources
Your personal capacity
Defending your home is extremely hard work and requires significant resources. It may take hours and sometimes days of extreme effort.
Children, the elderly, and people with special needs or a disability should be well away from the threat.
Do not stay and defend if you, or somebody with you, suffers from physical or mental conditions such as a disability, asthma, heart problems, emotional or mental health problems.
We recommend you complete a full property assesssment if you're planning to stay and actively defend. An assessment will help determine:
- property maintenance and improvements to better prepare your home
- vegetation that needs to be managed, and the best way to do this
You can also learn what you must do as a minimum to reduce the effects of bushfire on your property in Prepare your house and property.
Understanding how a fire behaves in your environment will help you to better prepare.
House design and construction
How well your house is constructed and designed plays a big part in how it will withstand a fire.
CFA and the Building Commission have produced a guide to better prepare your home.
Equipment and resources
If you are confident you are capable and prepared to actively defend your property, CFA recommends you have these resources and equipment as a minimum:
- 10,000 litres of water
- A firefighting pump that is protected from radiant heat and not reliant on mains power supply
- Firefighting hoses that reach all the way around your home
- Personal protective clothing.