Bushfire shelter options

Community Fire Refuges

A Community Fire Refuge is a designated building open to the public that can provide short-term shelter from the immediate life-threatening effects of a bushfire event. There are only four refuges in Victoria available for use in the 2015-16 summer season. Find out more about Community Fire Refuges

Bushfire Place of Last Resort

Another last resort shelter option is a Bushfire Place of Last Resort.

These do not provide the same level of protection as a well-constructed defendable home, private bushfire shelter or a Community Fire Refuge. They may be no more than an open space, but have been assessed to provide a level of protection from the effects of radiant heat. There are more than 290 Bushfire Places of Last Resort in Victoria, as at 1 December 2015. Find out more about Bushfire Place of Last Resort

Private Bushfire Shelter

Some people have installed private bushfire shelters on their properties. The Australian Building Codes Board’s National Performance Standards for Private Bushfire Shelters have been developed to ensure that a private bushfire shelters meet safety standards that provide an appropriate level of protection to people seeking emergency shelter.

Informal Places of Shelter

Informal places of shelter should only be considered when all other survival options have failed. Informal shelter options may provide some level of protection from radiant heat, the biggest killer in a bushfire. These include large open spaces, cars, dams, tunnels, caves, disused quarries, beaches and so on.

Bushfire Shelter Options Position Paper

EMV, with input from a range of sector partners, has produced a Bushfire Shelter Options Position Paper. The paper reviews the current options and sets out some future directions and possibilities around policy and practice.