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Off to the tip – Stage 2

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Bush fire safety


The ‘Off to the Tip’ safety message explores the importance of preparing for bushfire season by managing (e.g. relocating, disposing of, or dispersing) flammable materials close to your home or sheds. This could include piled up branches, bark, leaves, twigs, heavy mulch and other wood piles.

This lesson should ideally be completed after the ‘Raking up Twigs and Leaves’ and ‘What is a Spot Fire?’ lessons.

It is recommended that you view the background information for teachers before undertaking this lesson.

Links to NSW Curriculum


Environment strand

  • ENS2.5 – describes places in the local area and other parts of Australia and explains their significance.

Personal Development, Health and Physical Education

Personal Health strand

  • PHS2.12 – discusses the factors influencing personal health choices.

Safe Living strand

  • SLS2.13 – discusses how safe practices promote personal wellbeing.


  • EN2-11D – responds to and composes a range of texts that express viewpoints of the world similar to and different from their own.

Learning outcomes

Participating in this lesson will help students to achieve the following learning outcomes:

  • Students will learn how they can help protect their home from bushfire damage.
  • Students will learn about potential bushfire hazards around the home and how to manage/ dispose of them correctly.


  • ‘Off to the Tip’ safety message video (running time: 30 sec)
  • interactive whiteboard (IWB) - optional
  • A4 paper (or relevant workbook)
  • computers with the internet
  • ‘Managing Hazards’ activity sheet. – one per student
  • coloured pencils for drawing and colouring

Lesson steps

As a class, watch the ‘Off to the Tip' video. Ask students to discuss the safety message, record their responses. Questions could include:

  • What was Amy’s job?
  • How was Maddie helping?
  • Why were they taking the branches to the tip?
  • Piled up branches can catch fire easily. What else can catch fire easily?
  • What are some other dangers of leaving piles of branches lying around?
  • Why is it important to prepare for bushfire season?

With a partner, students discuss whether they have collected and disposed of anything in their yards in the past? What was it and why? Students to identify and discuss what potential hazards they have in their yard, and why they could be hazards. Explain to students that hazards can even include small leaves and twigs (about the size of your finger), which are sometimes referred to as ‘fine fuel’ and can become embers (burning leaves or twigs that are carried by the wind  and can cause spot fires).

Students to illustrate their yard, (including any sheds, etc.) and draw and label the hazards. Consider what is lying next to sheds or other buildings, location of gas bottles or wood piles, over hanging branches etc.

Once finished, as a class, students to share their illustrations. What are some common hazards? List them on the board.

As a class, or in small groups, brainstorm ways in which each hazard could be managed. Management may include relocating items so they are away from buildings, tidying the yard or removing items using bins or the local tip. Record ideas on the board. Ask students to think of places in their local area that provide disposal options (this may require further research), or more information about maintaining a ‘fire safe’ property.

Students to complete the ‘Managing Hazards’ activity sheet to list the hazards around their home, ways to manage them, and the person responsible for managing each of them.

Further activities

Here are some suggested extra activities to extend the students’ learning.

  • Invite someone from your local bushfire service to speak to the class about ways to prepare for bushfire season.
  • Students to collect small twigs and leaves to use in a fire-themed creative arts project.
  • Organise a trip to a local tip or recycling centre. Find out how it operates.

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Australiasian Fire and Emergency Services Council