NSW Rural Fire Service
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Neighbourhood Safer Places

Neighbourhood Safer Places (NSP) is a new concept that has evolved out of the tragic Victorian ‘Black Saturday’ bush fires in February 2009. A Neighbourhood Safer Place (NSP) is a place of last resort for people during a bush fire. It can be part of your contingency plan, for a time when your Bush Fire Survival Plan cannot be implemented or has failed.

An NSP is an identified building or space within the community that can provide a higher level of protection from the immediate life threatening effects of a bush fire. NSP’s still entail some risk, both in moving to them and while sheltering in them and cannot be considered completely safe. They are a place of last resort in emergencies only.

The following limitations of NSP need to be considered within your Bush Fire Survival Plan:

  • NSP do not cater for pets
  • When using NSP do not always expect emergency services to be present
  • NSP do not provide meals, amenity or cater for special needs (e.g. for infants, the elderly, the ill or disabled)
  • They may not provide shelter from the elements, particularly flying embers.

If an NSP is part of your contingency plan it should not require extended travel through fire affected areas to get there. If there is not sufficient time or it is unsafe to travel to an NSP you should then consider other pre identified safer locations such as your neighbours’ home or a wide open space.

In September 2009, the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS), in conjunction with other NSW emergency service organisations, developed guidelines for the identification of NSPs across the State of NSW. As part of this identification process, potential NSPs are assessed against a set of criteria to determine if the building or open space is suitable. The primary purpose of a NSP is the protection of human life.

Local Emergency Management Committees (LEMCs) have been tasked with the responsibility of identifying NSPs in their local area.

The NSW Rural Fire Service has now received recommended NSPs data from LEMCs for the majority of NSW. This data is currently being subject to a validation process to confirm that recommended NSPs satisfy the necessary criteria.

Click on your council area below to view the designated NSP locations for your local government area. These NSP locations have been subject to the validation process and have been deemed acceptable as a place of last resort.

If your council is not listed below please click here for more information.

Interstate NSPs

For those people who reside along the NSW border or are travelling interstate and would like to know the location of NSPs in the other States and Territories, please click on the relevant link below:

Victoria - www.cfa.vic.gov.au/
South Australia - www.cfs.sa.gov.au
Queensland - www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au/
Tasmania - www.fire.tas.gov.au/

It is also recommended that residents living close to a local government boundary check the location of NSPs in the adjoining local government area. Your closest NSP may well be in the adjoining local government area.

Please note that the NSW Rural Fire Service has not yet received NSP locations for all local government areas of NSW. In addition, some recommended NSP locations will require further investigation to confirm that they are suitable as place of shelter to be used as a place of last resort during a bush fire emergency.

The NSW Rural Fire Service will continue to update the NSP locations as new data is received and validated. You should return to this site regularly for updates on the progress of the NSP program and to find a NSP close to you.

Remember to complete your Bush Fire Survival Plan to ensure that you and your family are prepared and know what to do in the event of a bush fire. If there is a suitable NSP nearby your home, you should note it in you Bush Fire Survival Plan. However, the NSP should only be considered as a place of last resort during a bush fire emergency.

Albury City
Armidale Dumaresq
Ballina
Balranald
Bankstown
Bathurst Regional
Bega Valley
Bellingen
Berrigan
Blacktown
Bland
Blayney
Blue Mountains
Bogan
Bombala
Boorowa
Bourke
Brewarrina
Broken Hill
Byron
Cabonne
Camden
Campbelltown
Carrathool
Central Darling
Cessnock
Clarence Valley
Cobar
Coffs Harbour
Conargo
Coolamon
Cooma-Monaro
Coonamble
Cootamundra
Corowa
Cowra
Deniliquin
Dubbo
Dungog
Eurobodalla
Fairfield
Forbes
Gilgandra
Glen Innes Severn
Gloucester
Gosford
Goulburn Mulwaree
Great Lakes
Greater Hume
Greater Taree
Griffith
Gundagai
Gunnedah
Guyra
Gwydir
Harden
Hawkesbury
Hay
Hornsby
Hunters Hill
Hurstville
Inverell
Jerilderie
Junee
Kempsey
Kiama
Ku-ring-gai
Kyogle
Lachlan
Lake Macquarie
Lane Cove
Leeton
Lismore
Lithgow
Liverpool
Liverpool Plains
Lockhart
Maitland
Manly
Mid-Western Regional
Moree Plains
Mosman
Murray
Murrumbidgee
Muswellbrook
Nambucca
Narrabri
Narrandera
Narromine
Newcastle
North Sydney
Oberon
Orange
Palerang
Parkes
Penrith
Pittwater
Port Macquarie Hastings
Port Stephens
Queanbeyan
Richmond Valley
Ryde
Shellharbour
Shoalhaven
Singleton
Snowy River
Sutherland
Tamworth Regional
Temora
Tenterfield
The Hills
Tumbarumba
Tumut
Tweed
Unincorporated NSW
Upper Hunter
Upper Lachlan
Uralla
Urana
Wagga Wagga
Wakool
Walcha
Walgett
Warren
Warringah
Warrumbungle
Weddin
Wellington
Wentworth
Willoughby
Wingecarribee
Wollondilly
Wollongong
Wyong
Yass Valley
Young

 


Council Not Listed Above?

Please note the following 17 local government areas do not have a Bush Fire Risk Management Plan/Bush Fire Prone Land Map and as such are not required to identify Neighbourhood Safer Places.

  • Ashfield
  • Auburn
  • Botany Bay
  • Burwood
  • Canterbury
  • Canada Bay
  • Holroyd
  • Kogarah
  • Leichhardt
  • Marrickville
  • Parramatta
  • Randwick
  • Rockdale
  • Strathfield
  • Sydney
  • Waverley
  • Woollahra

 


NSP Guidelines

The intent of this document is to provide the criteria to identify and maintain a NSP as a place of last resort for people to gather during the passage of a bush fire front. Whilst a NSP will not eliminate all risks associated with a bush fire, it may significantly increase a person’s chance of survival.


Key features of this reviewed document include the emphasis on a performance based approach focussing on safer outcomes rather than simply meeting prescriptive requirements. This approach allows for flexibility and utilisation of expert judgement in determining the suitability of a NSP.



Attachment Details:
   NSP Guidelines
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