Protecting your property | Brisbane City Council

Protecting your property

You can play your part in managing fire on your property by:

  • being aware of fire management issues in your area
  • talking to your neighbours and the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) about reducing the risk of fire if your property shares boundaries with bushland
  • asking your neighbours and the QFES about working together as a group to reduce bushfire risk
  • preparing an evacuation plan for your family and pets
  • reporting fires to 000.

Building and living in bushland

When you are building and living in the bush you must consider fire safety issues.

Subdivision layouts and building plans for homes located in high fire danger areas must meet state government standards. Bushfire hazard planning includes guidelines for:

  • building location, design and construction
  • power and water supply
  • access, firebreaks, clearings and maintenance.

These guidelines are based on CSIRO and Standards Australia national standards.

For more information on building in bushland, phone the Queensland Government on 13 74 68.

What contributes to the risk of my property

  • flying embers and spot fires starting in or beside your house
  • leaves in roof valleys and gutters, pot plants on decks, timber decks, vegetation planted next to the house, wood heaps and rubbish under or beside the house, doormats made of flammable material.

How can I reduce my property's fire risks

You can reduce your property's fire risks by:

  • maintaining a fuel free zone around your fence line
  • ensuring fuel free zones, firebreaks and fire access trails are kept free of garden waste and other flammable materials. Do not dump garden waste and other flammables in adjoining bushland areas
  • having good access to water around your house  (e.g. water from tanks and swimming pools). Do not rely on electric pumps and town water as these services can fail during fire emergencies
  • removing door mats made of flammable materials
  • pointing LPG safety valves away from the house
  • clearing firewood, other flammables and rubbish from under and around the house
  • cleaning decks, gutters and roof valleys
  • removing any vegetation overhanging your house after checking it's not protected.

To check if vegetation overhanging your house is not protected you can phone Council on 07 3403 8888 or visit Natural Assets Local Law.

Download this checklist to help you review current fire risks around your property:

What can you do to protect your property

  • do regular maintenance work around the house such as a sound coat of paint, roof repairs, general clean-ups 
  • don’t plant garden beds and vegetation next to your house
  • if you have trees close to your house check whether these are protected before removing them
  • teach your children the dangers of wildfires
  • work with your neighbours to carry out fire management activities.

Phone Council on 07 3403 8888 to identify whether the trees close to your property are protected. For more information visit Natural Assets Local Law.

Exploring some fire facts

  • fire weather occurs when a combination of air temperature, relative humidity and wind speed create an atmosphere conducive to easy ignition and rapid spread of fire
  • bushfires cost the whole community
  • a Queensland Fire and Rescue Service (QFRS) Permit to Light a Fire is required to burn any vegetation larger than two square metres.

Lighting a fire on private property

A permit from the QFES is required to light a fire that is greater than two metres in any direction.

Without a permit you cannot burn garden or any other rubbish in an incinerator in your backyard, on vacant land or on roads. If you do, you may receive an on-the-spot fine.

You must contact us if you are planning to light a fire on your property for fuel reduction purposes. Brisbane City Council will advise you of any rules and procedures that you need to follow.

Contact numbers

  • Emergency Services - 000
  • for information about Council's fire management program, the Natural Assets Local Law (NALL), Voluntary Conservation Agreements (VCA), Land for Wildlife (L4W), less flammable local plant species or assistance with your fuel reduction program, contact Council
  • to obtain a Permit to Burn contact your local fire station - check business listings in the white pages, under Fire Stations.

Additional assistance

For help creating a fire management plan for your property visit the Fire Protection Association Australia website or search the yellow pages, under fire management plans.

If you need help to create a fire management plan for biodiversity conservation, visit the SEQ Fire and Biodiversity Consortium website or phone 07 3503 1415.

20 October 2016