This section covers the first steps you need to take before you can start cleaning up and rebuilding, including safety, and site clearance certificates.

On this page

Accessing your property
Insured or not, help is available
Government clean-up funding for all
Safety while on your property
Free title searches

Accessing your property

Please do not enter your property until a property impact assessment has been completed, and you have received a clearance certificate.

Entering your property before you have approval can be very dangerous as a range of safety risks may be present, including:

  • Live power lines or active solar panels.
  • Buildings and other structures may be unstable to enter or walk over.
  • Sewerage and septic systems may be disrupted causing health risks.
  • Hot, smouldering coals and other potentially hazardous materials may be hidden under the rubble. 
  • Asbestos dust and fibres have the potential to present a health risk during and after a fire if not properly managed.

Getting a clearance certificate: The first step is to contact your Insurance Company. In some cases, risk assessments and make safe strategies are part of your claim.

If you are uninsured or your claim does not cover make safe works contact the Public Works Advisory on 1800 885 539.

Insured or not, help is available


Clean-up can only start once you have clearance from your insurer. Once the site is made safe, we advise you to take photos or video of the damage to your property and possessions as evidence to support your claim, before you being the clean-up.

You can contact The Insurance Council of Australia with any questions, complaints or concerns about insurance on 1800 734 621

Legal Aid NSW can provide free legal advice and minor assistance to people affected by disasters on a range of issues, including insurance, on 1800 801 529.


The NSW Government is offering a Disaster Relief Grant for if you are not insured and have limited income. Grants are available for eligible individuals and families whose homes and essential household contents have been damaged or destroyed by a natural disaster.

To be eligible for this grant you must:

  • be a low-income earner and meet an income assets test.
  • demonstrate that the affected home is your principal place of residence.
  • not be covered by insurance.
  • demonstrate that the damage was caused by the disaster.
  • lodge the application within four months of the disaster occurring. 

For more information, contact the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line on 1800 018 444.

The Public Works Advisory will arrange the clean-up, undertake demolition and removal of building waste for uninsured properties. Contact the Public Works Advisory on 1800 885 539.

Government clean-up funding for all

The NSW Government is providing funding to help cover the cost of clean-up for both insured and uninsured properties. This will ensure hazardous materials, including asbestos, are removed and handled in the correct and safe way, and your insurance money is maximised towards rebuilding your home.

To find out more visit the Service NSW website or call the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line on 1800 018 444.

When I have clearance to enter my property, what precautions should I take?

We recommend you take every safety precaution possible, including wearing protective clothing and P2 masks, for yourself and any contractors who come onto the site.

Free title searches and plan images

NSW Land Registry Services is offering landholders affected by the recent bush fires access to the title searches and plan images of their property free of charge. Property searches and plans can assist with insurance claims and development applications to Council, as well as provide peace of mind regarding land ownership following natural disasters. Contact them on 1300 396 076 or (02) 8776 3575 to discuss how best they can assist.