Look and listen for information on television, radio, the internet and recorded information lines to find out when an all clear advice has been issued and if it is safe to return home.
Firefighters will have been working to cut down dangerous trees and make the area safe, but there may still be some hazards in the area so be alert when you return home.
Watch out for downed power lines, fallen trees, low branches and burning debris, and be careful of damaged infrastructure including walls, bridges, roads and footpaths. If you are driving in the fire area you should take extreme caution as emergency services personnel may be continuing their work.
A fire can be very destructive often leaving some homes untouched while others are completely devastated.
If your home has been badly damaged and you need a place to stay or require financial assistance seek help from welfare agencies. Download After the Fire: A Guide to Bushfire Recovery (PDF - 2 MB) for more information.
You need to be mentally and emotionally prepared when returning to your property. If you live alone, you may want to bring someone with you when you first return. Encourage your family to talk about their experiences with friends and neighbours, and become involved in community activities as soon as you can.
Access to your home should be limited to adults initially for safety reasons.
When you arrive home you should:
- Use a face mask and wear protective clothing
- Walk around the outside of your house to check for the following hazards:
- Live electricity
- Leaking gas (odour or hissing)
- Septic or sewage leaking
- Hot embers
- Trees and over hanging branches
- Major structural damage