Bush fire - 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 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.

A 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.

Neighbourhood Safer Places in Kempsey Shire (updated 7 November 2016)
Name Type Location
Crescent Head Country Club Building Rankine Street, Crescent Head
Kempsey Showground Open space Sea Street, West Kempsey
Willawarrin Sports Ground Open space Armidale Road, Willawarrin
South West Rocks Country Club Building 2 Sportsmans Way, South West Rocks
Hat Head Bowling and Recreation Club Building Reserve Road, Hat Head
Gladstone Oval Open space Barnard Street, Gladstone
Joe Donovan Sporting Complex Open Space Banksia Street, Stuarts Point
For the latest list of Neighbourhood Safe Places in the Kempsey Local Government Area (LGA) visit:

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.

See the below table for the designated NSP locations in your local government area. These NSP locations have been subject to a validation process and have been deemed acceptable as a place of last resort.

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 your Bush Fire Survival Plan. However, the NSP should only be considered as a place of last resort during a bush fire emergency.