Health & Safety during bushfire or emergency

Visit the NSW Rural Fire Service website

Safety advice

  •  Avoid areas where bushfires are occurring. Stay off the road; don’t travel unless you need to.
  • Report unattended fires or suspicious activity immediately to Triple Zero (000) and follow the advice of authorities.
  • Read all warnings in full to stay up-to-date with the latest information - including evacuation routes and evacuation centres.
  • Adhere to closures of areas because of bushfire emergencies. These areas will reopen when they are safe.
  • Be alert that bushfires can topple trees and power lines and leave debris strewn across the landscape, posing a significant health and safety risk.

People returning home need to be mindful of hazards even after a bushfire has been extinguished. 


  • Avoid vigorous exercise outside during smoky conditions, especially if you have asthma, diabetes, heart disease or a breathing-related condition.
  • If you have an air conditioner, turn it on and use it in a recirculate mode.
  • Seek medical advice if you are experiencing any adverse reactions to dust or smoke, such as shortness of breath, prolonged coughing or wheezing.
  • Throw out all food that has been fire-damaged or affected by heat.
  • Tank water can be contaminated from debris, fire retardant, ash or dead animals. If the water tastes, looks or smells unusual, do not drink it or give it to animals.


If you think your rainwater tank has been contaminated you can still use the water to: 

  • flush toilets
  • wash clothes (provided it will not stain the clothes)
  • fight fires

It is important for residents in fire affected areas or in areas where ash may have fallen on roofs to ensure  all rainwater from the first full rainfall event is not collected, because this water might be contaminated by ash.