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.