Safety and first aid

After a bushfire – hazards on your property

  • Before going back to your home be aware of the potential hazards.
  • Do enter your property until you have been told that it is okay to do so by emergency services or your local government.
  • If a hazard such as asbestos has been identified on your property, professional clean-up and other safety precautions must be undertaken.

Bushfires create hazards. For your safety, it is extremely important that you follow advice from emergency response and recovery agencies, including your local government, before returning to your property.

Access to your street or property may be restricted until major safety issues such as fallen trees, powerlines and unsafe building structures are dealt with.

If asbestos or CCA treated timber has been identified on your property emergency services may spray the area with a coloured PVA glue to prevent the contamination from being disturbed and put signs up to warn people not to enter the area. Do not drive, walk on or disturb areas that may contain fire-damaged asbestos or CCA timber.

Clean-up and protective clothing

Take care when cleaning up after a bushfire.

Potential hazards when returning to your property

Gas, electricity and water supplies

Bushfires can damage utilities such as gas, electricity and mains water supplies which cause the services to be cut off.


Damaged electricity networks can leave you without power. If you see a downed powerline or damaged electrical assets stay at least 8 metres away and call Western Power on 13 13 51 or Horizon Power on 13 23 51 to report the hazard.


Tap (mains) water may not work due to damaged pipes, or power outages that prevent water being pumped. You may need to check for a boil water alert read Emergency treatment of drinking water supplies.


Mains gas supplies may be damaged or turned off.

Phone reception

Mobile phone towers may be damaged or not supplied with the power needed to operate (these towers only have limited back up battery power).

You may not have access to internet services.

Local government

Local government services such as rubbish collection may be affected.

More information

Contact Environmental Health Services at your local government (external site).

Contact (08) 9222 2000 or email the Environmental Health Directorate on with queries about managing hazards.

Last reviewed: 14-12-2023
Public Health

This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

Questions? Ask your local government environmental health services