If you’ve been affected by bushfires, there’s a range of information, services and resources available to help you look after your property and rebuild your home.
Returning to your home after a fire
Always check with emergency services that it is safe to return to your property after a bushfire.
While the fire danger may have passed, hazards may still be present such as:
- fallen trees and other objects
- sharp objects
- damaged electrical wires
- smouldering coals
- gas cylinders
- farm, garden and cleaning chemicals
To learn more about, read Bushfire recovery and your property.
After a bushfire, you will need to assess the state of your home to determine if you can move back in.
Any building work should be carried out by a licensed builder or demolition contractor. If your home contains asbestos you may need to engage a licensed asbestos removalist.
Once your home has been assessed by the builder, contact your insurance company to work out an action plan.
It is important when rebuilding that you think about how you can protect your home from fire. You need to consider the bushfire risk to your home and make building decisions that will reduce the impact of a fire. Your home is more likely to survive a bushfire if it is built to planning and construction standards.
If you lost your home due to natural disaster and were uninsured or grossly under-insured, you may be able to get free advice from a registered architect.
Depending on your specific situation, the assistance may vary from simple advice to full design and planning services.
You may also apply on behalf of a small local business or community that has lost its assets such as shops, halls, churches or theatres.
Rebuilding advice and support
The Department of Planning Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) has put a range of measures in place to help streamline the rebuild process. For bushfire rebuilding, planning and building application support or advice, please contact the Planning and Building Assessment Recovery Unit.
When rebuilding fences, you must consider:
Other information and resources:
- Bushfire Recovery - planning and building assessment factsheet (5.6 MB PDF)
- Land and property development
- Bushfire regulations (includes information on building or developing in bushfire risk areas)
- Maintaining land boundaries after a bushfire
People who are SA Water customers
If you are experiencing mains water outages, phone the SA Water Customer Care Centre on 1300 729 283.
If your private water tank was accessed by the Country Fire Service (CFS) to assist with firefighting purposes, you can commence the process to have it replenished by filling out the CFS essential water replenishment form available on the CFS website and emailing it to CFSFirelineandwaterrequests@sa.gov.au, or by calling the CFS directly on 0438 655 061.
As an SA Water customer, you will not be charged for water used to prepare or defend properties, or for water lost through pipes damaged in the fires. If you have questions, or need support with water supply, phone SA Water on 1300 729 283.
Keep away from any electricity equipment that has been damaged during a bushfire and report it to SA Power Networks by phoning
13 13 66.
SA Power Networks has more information on bushfires and power safety.
For natural gas supply outages contact your gas supply company and for gas leaks phone the free 24-hour gas emergency and leak reporting service on 1800 427 5325.
All outreach efforts are being made to those who have been impacted by the bushfires and requiring housing assistance.
A range of options is being explored, working closely with the community to address each household's unique needs.
If you have been impacted by the bushfires and are in need of temporary housing, please contact your Local Recovery Centre
A free home battery was offered to South Australian households rebuilding after the 2019–20 bushfires, under an arrangement offered by the South Australian Government and local battery manufacturer, sonnen.
Under the offer, bushfire-affected households could receive a sonnen battery as part of the rebuilding of their property.
Registrations of interest for this offer closed on 31 December 2020. The program team is now helping with the deployment of batteries on households.
Information for households that accepted the offer is provided below. For any other enquiries, please contact the Home Batteries call centre on (08) 8226 7595 or email email@example.com.
What happens if I accepted the offer but the battery is no longer part of my rebuilding plans?
If for whatever reason you no longer require the battery, all we ask is that you let us know your decision as soon as practical so we can remove you from our system and deactivate the Unique Identifier Code provided to you on receipt of your acceptance. You can do this by contacting the Home Batteries call centre on (08) 8226 7595 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
If I accepted the offer, how long do I have to install the battery?
You have until 31 December 2021 to have your battery installed. After this date, consideration for an extension will only be given on a case-by-case basis.
What size of solar system is required to pair with the battery?
Households are encouraged to seek advice from a certified sonnen installer about what size system would suit their needs. A list of installers was sent to all eligible households together with the letter of offer.
Can the batteries operate in the event of an outage?
sonnen home energy systems do have backup functionality at an additional cost to the household. Eligible households are encouraged to discuss this with a certified sonnen installer before the system is installed.
Does the battery need to be installed by a certified sonnen installer?
A certified sonnen installer must install the home energy system – this is a sonnen requirement. A list of providers was provided along with the offer.
If I accepted the offer but decide not to rebuild and want to live outside the bushfire-affected region, am I still eligible for a battery?
No. The battery must be installed on the bushfire-affected property. Please contact the Home Batteries call centre on (08) 8226 7595 or email email@example.com to let us know your decision as soon as practical so we can remove you from our system and deactivate the Unique Identifier Code provided to you on receipt of your acceptance.
Can I install the battery on a structure that wasn’t destroyed or damaged by the bushfire, such as a nearby shed?
Yes. Eligible households can determine the location of their battery, providing it is on the same location (NMI) of the impacted primary residence.
If I sell my property before the battery is issued and installed, will the new owner be eligible for the battery?
No. The offer is only available to the original recipient. Please contact the Home Batteries call centre on (08) 8226 7595 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know your decision as soon as practical so we can remove you from our system and deactivate the Unique Identifier Code provided to you on receipt of their acceptance.
Are batteries safe in the event of another bushfire?
Yes. sonnen battery modules have been tested and certified to IEC 62619 and UL 1973 standards and are deemed as not posing a fire hazard under AS/NZS 5139:2019. The sonnen LFP2 modules do not ‘out-gas’ in normal operation and will shut down in cases of extreme heat. In the extreme event of an actual fire this will not cause any exacerbation of the situation.