Home fires can be devastating. However there are a range of measures you can take to keep your family and home safe from fire. Here are some top tips:
- Install an adequate number of suitable smoke alarms and test them regularly.
- Did you know that more than half of all home fires start in the kitchen? It is a good idea to keep a fire blanket on the wall of your kitchen.
- Discuss and write down an escape plan in case of fire and practice it regularly.
- Make sure keys to all locked doors are readily accessible in case you need to escape.
- Never leave cooking or any other open flame, including candles or oil burners, unattended.
- Clean the lint filter of your clothes dryer every time you use it.
- Never charge your mobile phone in bed or near fabric, and check regularly for frayed cords.
- Don't overload power points and switch off appliances when not in use.
- Take care when storing chemicals and fuels in outbuildings or sheds, and always refuel in the open air when machines are cold.
- If you have a gas, electric or wood barbecue, always check that it is in safe working order before lighting and that it is always in the care of a responsible adult when in use.
- If you live in a bushfire-prone area, keep the ground around your home clear of leaves and other litter and remember to clean your gutters regularly.
What is a Bushfire Risk Management Plan?
The State Emergency Management Plan for Fire (Westplan Fire) requires all local governments with significant bushfire risk to prepare a Bushfire Risk Management Plan (BRM Plan) outlining a strategy to treat bushfire-related risks.
The City's BRM Plan has been prepared in accordance with guidelines developed by the Office of Bushfire Risk Management (OBRM), with properties being identified and risk assessed against these guidelines.
The BRM Plan identifies properties at risk from bushfire and their priority for treatment.
Identified properties have been mapped, recorded and assessed in the Bushfire Management System provided to local governments by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES).
Government agencies aim to work together with land managers to implement an effective treatment program.
Under the second round of the 2020/2021 Mitigation Activity Fund (MAF) Grants Program, the City received funding to conduct a number of DFES approved mitigation activities in high bushfire-risk areas in 2021. The following are still to be completed:
|Golden Bay||Limestone track||Install limestone access track at Minderoo Reserve to provide access for emergency vehicles and due to steep terrain also preventing getting bogged before the next fire season.|
|Golden Bay||Install fencing||Install post and metal rail fence to prevent access at Minderoo Reserve and reduce ignition sources.|
|Golden Bay||Install gates||Install heavy duty gates to prevent unauthorised access to Minderoo Reserve and reduce ignition sources.|
|Karnup||Install gates||Install post and rail fence and two heavy duty gates at the end of Grasshill Road to prevent unauthorised access to the newly installed limestone track and reduce ignition sources.|
|Rockingham||Forestry mulching||Forestry mulch area to parkland to reduce fuel load in Reserve 43473 before the next fire season.|
|Secret Harbour||Limestone track||Install a 4 m wide limestone emergency access track at 46 Turtles Bend to provide access for emergency vehicles.|
|Secret Harbour||Install gates||Install heavy duty gates to prevent unauthorised access at 46 Turtles Bend and reduce ignition sources.|
State and local governments, along with private landowners and occupiers, share responsibility to reduce the risk of unplanned bushfire throughout Western Australia.
As a landowner or occupier, you have a legal requirement under Section 33 of the Bush Fires Act 1954, to carry out fire prevention works on your property in accordance with the provisions of the City of Rockingham Fire Control Notice.
Fire Control Notices are issued annually in July and inspections commence from 1 December. Properties need to be maintained from 1 December to 31 May each year.
The Fire Control Notice outlines your legal requirements with full firebreak specifications.
Penalties of up to $5,000 can apply.
For further information, contact our Fire Control Officer on 9528 0333.
City of Rockingham Health Local Law 1996 - Burning of Rubbish or Refuse
The following is taken from the City of Rockingham Health Local Law 1996 at clause 49:
"A person shall not, without the written approval of the local government; and except in accordance with the terms and conditions to which the approval is subject, set fire to, or cause to be set on fire, any rubbish or refuse either in any incinerator; or on the ground.
An approval of the local government shall be issued subject to the following conditions:
- the material to be burnt -
- Does not include any plastic, rubber, food scraps, green garden cuttings or other material when burnt;
- Is of such quantity, or of such a nature, as not to be suitable for removal by the Local Government’s refuse collection service;
- There is no other appropriate means of disposal;
- Burning shall not take place during any period for which an air dispersion alert has been issued by the Bureau of Meteorology; or where this is no current dispersion alert, outside the hours of 10am to 3pm;
- An incinerator must meet the standards specified by the local government; an incinerator unit used for fire must be located at least two (2) metres from a fence or building, at least nine (9) metres from a neighbourhood dwelling and in such a position so as not to create a nuisance or be offensive to other persons."
If you require further information, please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 9528 0333.
Camping, Heating and Cooking
Solid fuel devices such as fire pits, chimineas, barbecues and pizza ovens are allowed in the following conditions:
- when a total fire ban (see video below) has not been declared;
- when the fire danger rating is not Very High, Severe, Extreme or Catastrophic;
- a 3m clearance in radius has been established, clear of all bush and flammable material;
- where smoke is controlled so as not to be a nuisance.
Enclosed gas fired devices are exempt and are allowed at any time.
Photo of a Chiminea
Solid fuel devices such as outdoor chimineas are not allowed on declared total fire ban days.
You may wish to enlist the services of a firebreak contractor to assist you in installing and maintaining your firebreaks and/or your vacant land.
Here is a list of suggested contractors, however please note that it is the property owner's responsibility to ensure the work undertaken is in accordance with the requirements of the City's Fire Control Notice.
It is recommended to enlist the services of a contractor early to ensure timely compliance.
|28 April to 31 May||Permits required (please see below)|
|1 June to 30 September||No permits required (rural and semi-rural properties only)|
|1 October to 30 November||Permits required|
|1 December to 31 March||Prohibited burning|
From 1 June to 30 September, permits are not required for hazard reduction burns (rural and semi rural property owners only)
DFES has useful information on SMART Burning Guidelines in the planned burning section of its website.
Please ensure you stay informed about any declared Total Fire Bans.
Direct all enquiries to our Fire Control team on 9528 0333.
Important note: The dates may vary from season to season.
Visit the Department of Fire and Emergency Services for information on prescribed burning and how reducing your fuel load can help protect you and your assets.
The Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade can assist land owners in undertaking hazard reduction burns during restricted burning periods. There is a suggested fee involved. Please contact our Emergency Services team on 9528 0333 for further details.
The Department of Parks and Wildlife also regularly undertakes prescribed burning in the area. It is difficult to provide accurate notice of where and when prescribed burns will take place since the decision to commence a planned burn involves consideration of many factors. The decision to carry out a prescribed burn is made on the day and is dependent on suitable weather conditions.
Visit the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions for current prescribed burns.
brigade undertaking Hazard reduction burn
Prescribed fires help reduce the catastrophic damage of wildfire on our lands and surrounding communities by safely reducing excessive amounts of brush, shrubs and trees.
When would I need an application to vary firebreaks?
If for any reason it is considered impractical to clear firebreaks or to remove the flammable material from your land as required by the Fire Control Notice you will need to complete an application to vary firebreaks.
Please ensure you resubmit all current variations, regardless of when they were approved. We would like to ensure that variations comply to the current conditions and environment.
Please complete the form below and forward to our Fire Prevention Officer on or before 31 October annually for approval to provide firebreaks in alternative positions or take alternative action to abate the fire hazard, e.g. slashing and mowing.
If permission is not granted by our Fire Control Team, you must comply with the requirements of the Fire Control Notice.
truck on firebreak
Firebreaks are intended to minimise the spread or extension of a bushfire and provide safe access on your property for emergency vehicles. They are also important as the gap they create in the vegetation acts as a barrier to slow or stop the progress of a bushfire or wildfire.
A Total Fire Ban has been declared for Rockingham for Saturday 6 February 2021.
Total fire bans are declared on days of extreme weather or when widespread fires are seriously stretching firefighting resources.
The need for the ban is assessed throughout the day and the ban may be revoked if weather conditions ease.
A total fire ban is declared the evening before it is to take effect. You should check the Emergency WA website after 6pm to see if a ban has been declared for the next day.
A full explanation of what you can and cannot do during a total fire ban can be found on the Department of Fire and Emergency Services website.
We have five Fire Danger Rating Boards located at key points around the City. The signs reflect the current fire danger rating for a particular day and any other important information. The locations of the signs are:
- Patterson Road - East Rockingham
- Safety Bay Road - Baldivis
- Kulija Road - Baldivis
- Mundijong Road - Baldivis
- Mandurah Road - Singleton
Harvest and Vehicle Movement Bans are issued by the local government and are put in place when the City's Bushfire Control Officer identifies the use of engines, vehicles, plant or machinery as high bushfire risk activities, during particular times of the day. These times are called prohibited burning times and/or restricted burning times and vary between the individual local governments. As a guide, these times generally extend over the traditional summer period from October through to April. Harvest and Vehicle Movement Bans will be advertised on our website and Facebook page.
For more information contact the City's Fire Control team on 9528 0333.
If you have received a bushfire infringement, you have the right to appeal.