Your browser is out of date. From Thu 28 April 2022, the Great Southern Bank website will not support your current browser, and you may have a degraded experience or be unable to connect. Update your browser to secure your online experience.


How to prepare for a bushfire

13 February 2024
• 3 minute read
Share article on Facebook Tweet this article email this article to a friend

It’s easy to forget that in the months before the pandemic took hold, the Australian bushfire season of 2019 – 2020 (aka ‘Black Summer’) was a major global news story.

With an estimated 243,000 square kilometres of land and more than 3,000 buildings destroyed, at least 33 people killed, and an overall price tag of approaching $100 billion, it was the costliest natural disaster in the nation’s history.

Unfortunately, while the current bushfire season’s conditions are somewhat different, it’s nonetheless set to be the worst since Black Summer in some parts of the country.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at how to prepare your house for a bushfire, according to the latest government recommendations.

Prepare your home

  • Regularly clear leaves from your gutters, roof and downpipes – fitting metal leaf guards will help.
  • Keep your backyard tidy and place any flammable material like wood, paper, boxes and garden furniture away from buildings.
  • Install steel mesh screens on windows, doors and vents.
  • Enclose open areas under decking/flooring.  Also, seal any gaps in the roof and wall cladding to prevent embers getting inside.

Prepare your garden

  • Keep your lawn mowed and overhanging branches trimmed well away from your home.
  • Dump any green waste like chopped tree branches, leaves or grass clippings at your local council’s refuse collection centre. Don’t keep anything that could fuel a fire on your property, or dump waste on council reserves or bushland.
  • If possible, plant trees and shrubs that are less likely to ignite due to their lower oil content.

Manage onsite water

  • Check that your garden hoses are long enough to reach the boundaries of your property.
  • If you have a swimming pool, have a Static Water Supply sign placed on your front fence. Contact your local fire station for information.
  • Consider purchasing a portable pump to use your swimming pool or water tank water.

Follow advice

  • On Total Fire Ban days, listen for the latest weather warnings and follow the regulations regarding barbecues and open fires.
  • Make sure everyone in your household knows your bushfire plan and the location of the designated community evacuation area.
  • Check with your local fire authority if there’s any special advice for your location.

In an emergency, call 000. For more tips and information, contact your local fire station or state’s fire authorities.

Here are some handy state-based resources:


New South Wales

Northern Territory


South Australia



Western Australia

Review your insurance

One last tip is to take a look at your home and contents insurance policy to see what is and isn’t covered. You may also want to check that you’re adequately insured. It’s vital to see whether the value of your home and its contents are accurately reflected in your policy – especially if you want to replace things like-for-like if they’re lost to fire. If you make changes to your policy, be sure to check your policy documentation for any exclusion periods that may apply for events such as bushfires.

We’re here to help

If you would like to speak to someone about home and contents insurance, feel free to give us a call on 133 282. Alternatively, you can always pop into your local branch for a chat.

Important Information

Great Southern Bank, a business name of Credit Union Australia Ltd ABN 44 087 650 959 AFSL 238317, arranges this insurance as agent for the insurer Allianz Australia Insurance Limited ABN 15 000 122 850 AFSL No 234708 (Allianz). Great Southern Bank does not guarantee or otherwise support this insurance product. Great Southern Bank does not provide any advice based on any consideration of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Terms, conditions, limits, exclusions and underwriting criteria apply. Before making a decision, please consider the Product Disclosure Statement. The relevant Target Market Determination is available here. If you purchase this insurance, Great Southern Bank will receive a commission that is a percentage of the premium. Full details of the commission are set out in the Financial Services Guide. Ask us for more details before we provide you with services.

Related articles
Six ways to save when you buy a car
How to save for holiday
4 minute read
Going green - boosting your mood and saving money in the garden
What is loan to value ratio (LVR) and how do I calculate it?
What is Lenders Mortgage Insurance and who needs to pay for it?
4 minute read
The eight great myths of travel insurance
All Articles
Share article on Facebook Tweet this article email this article to a friend