See also: City and community > Fire and emergencies
In Case of Emergency Call 000
Be bushfire ready
The potential for severe bush fires exists in Western Australia every year. You can reduce the dangers posed by a bush fire through careful planning and making your home bushfire ready. Stay informed about bush fire safety for you, your family and home.
Here are some top tips to be bushfire ready:
- Burning embers can enter your house through open vents, broken windows or roof spaces - these small sparks can ignite a fire in your house
- The majority of houses destroyed by bush fires burn down after the fire front has passed
- During a major bush fire there may not be enough fire appliances available to protect every home, so a great deal of responsibility rests with the home owner to protect his or her house and family.
Have a plan
- Decide whether you will stay with your property, or go to a safer location
- If you decide not to stay, leave early - know where you will go and whether you can get there safely
- Prepare a list of things to do when a bush fire approaches
- Prepare a list of emergency phone numbers and numbers of neighbours’ homes
- Check that all family members are aware of their role in your family bush fire emergency plan.
Plan to evacuate in case of fire
A fire in the home can cause panic and loss of precious time needed to reach safety so be prepared to develop a home escape plan as it may save your own life and your family.
It is important to:
- Ensure all household members know what to do in the event of a fire
- Ensure you have an Animal Welfare Plan in place
- Identify at least two ways out of your home
- Always keep keys to doors and windows close at hand
- Agree on a safe place to meet outside after escaping the house
- Practice your home escape plan so that everyone knows what to do.
If away from home in holiday accommodation:
- Make sure everyone knows the layout of the residence
- Plan in advance how to escape in case of fire.
Prepare a bush fire kit
Make sure you have:
Make sure all family members have protective clothing – cotton or woollen trousers, long-sleeved shirt or jumper, sturdy shoes/ boots, hard hat or wide-brimmed hat, goggles and gloves.
- Woollen blankets
- Buckets, mop, knapsack, ladder, rake
- Torch, battery-powered radio
- A safe storage box for valuables and important boxes.
Deciding whether to stay or go
Don't leave the decision to relocate until the fire is so close that you cannot get out safely!
If there is a bushfire in your area, you must make an early decision on whether you will stay with the house or relocate.
Staying with your own or a neighbour’s home could also be safer than trying to get away on roads blocked by fire and smoke.
You may prefer to stay:
- If you are confident your home is well prepared.
- If you have sufficient emergency water supplies.
- If you think you and your family can deal with the stress and tension of battling the fire.
- In extreme conditions police officers or fire-fighters may direct you to leave.
You may prefer to go if you:
- Are not confident about the fire safety of your house
- Are worried about young children, elderly people or someone who is sick
- Think you could not cope with the stress of fighting the fire
- Know it is safe to leave, have a safe destination in mind and know it is safe to get there.
What do if a bush fire approaches
- Dress in protective clothing and close all windows and doors
- Block downpipes and fill gutters with water, also fill buckets, basins, baths and sinks as a back-up supply
- Extinguish small spot fires around your house and check for spot fires under and in the roof space of the house
- When it becomes too dangerous outside, shelter inside and take hoses and fittings with you.
What do to if you have a fire in your home
- Exit the house immediately and close doors behind you to stop the spread of fire
- Smoke rises, so crawl low to breathe cleaner air
- If your clothes catch on fire, stop, drop, cover your face and roll to smother the flames
- Call the Fire Service on 000 from the nearest phone once safely outside
- NEVER GO BACK INSIDE THE HOUSE.
In case of fire emergency call 000.
Other helpful tips
- Maintain a circle of safety, at least 20 metres wide, around your home by clearing away trees, dead leaves, twigs and branches. Also cut long grass and undergrowth in this area
- Don’t store flammable liquids, firewood or other flammable material close to, or underneath the house
- Close in eaves and the space under your house
- Fit bronze fly wire screens or shutters to your windows and doors
- Maintain gutters and the roof clear of leaves
- Ensure that hoses reach all corners of the home
- Consider buying a petrol or diesel powered pump and arrange to have an alternative fire-fighting water supply (e.g. tank, pool or dam)
- Comply with the local government firebreak notices
- Don’t burn off or light a barbecue on very high or extreme fire danger days, and check with your local council to find out about fire restrictions.
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The City of Rockingham requires all land owners to install firebreaks constructed in accordance with the Fire Control Notice by 30 November each year and maintained until 31 May the following year.
For further Information on firebreaks, the Act and burning off periods, refer to page 23 of Council's 2009-10 information brochure (below).
If, for any reason, it is considered impractical to clear firebreaks or to remove the flammable material from the land as required by the Fire Control Notice, application must be made in writing to Council's Fire & Emergency Administration Officer on or before 16 October for approval to provide firebreaks in alternative positions or take alternative action to abate a fire hazard; eg slashing and mowing. If permission is not granted by the Council's Fire & Emergency Adminstration Officer you shall comply with the requirements of this Notice in its entirety.
An Application to Vary Location and Type of Firebreaks is available below or by contacting (08) 9528 0364. Please note that all variations to firebreaks previously and currently approved by Council are automatically cancelled from 1 August.
To assist ratpayers to install firebreaks, a list of contractors is available on this website.
It is the owner's responsibility to ensure firebreaks are constructed prior to 30 November each year.
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Permits to Burn can be obtained from the City of Rockingham by contacting (08) 9528 0364 or (08) 9528 0415. There is no cost for a Permit to Burn.
Permits to Burn are issued for rural and semi rural properties only.
In rural areas Permits to Burn are requried during the Restricted Burning periods. No burning is permitted on days of Very High, Severe, Extreme or Catastrophic - this includes solid fuel barbecues, spit roasts, hangis, 'webber' barbecues, outdoor pizza ovens and the like. Many recreation sites have gas or electric barbecues installed which may be used at these times. Gas or electric barbecues at home are also permitted.
|RESTRICTED BURNING PERIODS
1 October to 30 November
|PROHIBITED BURNING PERIODS
1 December to 31 March
No Burning Permitted
|RESTRICTED BURNING PERIODS
1 April to 31 May
IMPORTANT - PLEASE NOTE: These dates may vary from season to season, contact Fire and Emergency Services at the City of Rockingham to confirm.
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Smoke alarms in the home
Every day around Australia preventable fires occur in the home. Far from being something that “will never happen to me”, fire can strike without warning anyone, anywhere, anytime and the results of a home fire are often very tragic.
Loved ones can be injured or even die, and treasured possessions and property can go up in smoke, but with a little planning and common sense you can safeguard your family at home from fire.
Council and the Fire Services urge you to act on the information provided below to educate yourself and others about fire safety, removing potential fire hazards from your home and preventing the devastation of fire.
Here are some facts regarding fires in the home
- People aged 0 – 4 years and 65+ years are among those most at risk in a home fire
- The majority of fires occur between midnight and 8am
- Smoke alarms provide early warning of fire and help save lives
- Heaters and discarded cigarettes are a major cause of fires
- Many accidental fires can be prevented.
Installing smoke alarms - know your obligations
The Building Code of Australia requires all new dwellings and additions to dwellings constructed after 1st July 1997, to have installed smoke alarms that are connected to the consumer mains power with a rechargeable battery back-up.
The City strongly recommends that all existing dwellings and other places of residence have installed consumer mains power smoke detectors for the safety of occupants.
New regulations under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1960 (WA) took effect on 1st October 2009 and require mains powered smoke alarms to be fitted to homes that are subject to sale, lease, or hire.
Correct installation of smoke alarms is important. The following list where smoke alarms should be installed:
- On or near the ceiling
- In hallways close to sleeping areas, or inside bedrooms
- In living areas – lounge and family rooms
- On each level of a multi story house.
Make sure you read the manufacturer’s instructions.
The following document sets out the guidelines for smoke alarms in dwellings.
Types of smoke alarms
You can choose from two kinds of smoke alarms:
- Mains powered alarms connected to the mains electricity and installed by a qualified tradesperson
- Battery operated alarms which are easily installed to ceilings or walls.
Maintaining smoke alarms
Note: April 1st every year is the date to check the battery in the smoke alarms (even in mains connected systems).
Here are some maintenance tips:
- Regularly maintain and clean battery operated smoke alarms
- Check smoke alarms monthly by pressing the test button
- Replace the battery each year or as required
- Clean smoke alarms every six months using a soft brush on the vacuum cleaner.
Fire and emergency services in Rockingham
Contact details of fire and emergency services are available in the City and Community section of this website.
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