Get information about bushfires from the Country Fire Service (CFS) website.

If you are in danger from a bushfire here are some things you can do to survive.

If a fire starts in the area

What to do

  • Seek further information but don't rely on one source - eg CFS website, CFS social media, AlertSA app, your local ABC radio station.
  • Call neighbours so that everyone knows what is happening.
  • Get into your fire clothes - long sleeves and pants made of natural fibres.
  • Turn on roof sprinklers making sure you manage your water supply so there is sufficient water when the fire arrives.
  • Shut the doors and windows.
  • Put tape across the inside of the windows so they remain in place if broken.
  • Watch out for flying embers.
  • Prepare yourself mentally for the coming fire.
  • Stay informed.

What not to do

  • Don't hide, you'll need to stay alert to what's happening.
  • Don't stand on your roof with your hose; often more people are injured falling from roofs than suffer burn injuries.

If a fire is approaching

Stay calm, check for embers and extinguish spot fires.

What to expect

  • Flying embers and sparks can light spot fires before the fire front arrives.
  • Smoke will reduce visibility.
  • You may be without power and water.

What to do

  • Extinguish spot fires.
  • Wet vegetation near your house with a hose or sprinkler.
  • Double check that all the doors and windows are shut and place wet blankets and towels around windows and door edges to keep out smoke and embers.
  • Take down curtains and move furniture away from the windows.
  • Stay close to the house.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Check the welfare of others.
  • Patrol the inside of the home as well as the outside for embers or small fires.

What not to do

Don't try to out run the fire in a car. A car on the road is one of the most dangerous places to be in a bushfire.

If a fire arrives

Seek shelter inside and actively defend your home.

What to expect

  • It will be dark and very loud.
  • There will be smoke, embers and flames.
  • The fire will give off radiant heat. This is the biggest killer.

What to do

  • Take all firefighting equipment inside such as hoses and pumps as they may melt during the fire.
  • Move inside the house until the fire front passes. If possible shelter in a room with two exits farthest from the oncoming fire front. Keep moving through the house to position yourself as far from the passing fire front as possible.
  • Patrol inside the house including checking the ceiling space for embers and small fires.
  • Continue to drink water.

What not to do

  • Don't shelter in a dam, swimming pool or tank, as radiant heat and smoke can still damage your face, head and lungs.
  • Don't shelter in a room without two exits as you may become trapped. You will need to exit the burning building once the fire front passes.
  • Don't stand on your roof with a hose.

After a fire has passed

After the fire front has passed, go outside and continue to extinguish any spot fires around your property.

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Page last updated 30 November 2021

Provided by:
South Australian Country Fire Service
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