Protecting possessions from Bushfire

Artwork storage at Blue Mountains Cultural Centre

Artwork storage at Blue Mountains Cultural Centre. Courtesy the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre

In response to the current bushfire situation in the Blue Mountains, Blue Mountains Cultural Centre has set up an ‘Emergency Art Storage Service’ for its members. Residents with houses under threat have been given the opportunity to bring their valuable artworks to the Centre for safe storage.

The offer has been taken up by many collectors who have works of national significance in their private collections. The Blue Mountains Cultural Centre, opened in November last year, has advanced fire protection systems and its location in the heart of Katoomba gives many residents peace of mind, knowing their treasured artworks are in the safest place possible.

Protect your possessions

In addition here is some important information to help you protect your valuable possessions as the fires rage across the Blue Mountains and elsewhere.

The website of the Australian Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Material (AICCM) has some good resources including:

If your house is damaged by fire, your valuables will most likely have suffered fire, smoke, heat and water damage. In the case of serious fire damage, very little may remain, and badly burnt items may be beyond salvage. Yet, sometimes it is surprising what survives.

Regardless of whether you leave or stay.

  • Aim to protect your valuables from heat, smoke and water damage.
  • Remove valuable items from external walls, near doorways etc, and cover with woollen blankets.
  • Move special items to the designated safe room. Cover them with woollen blankets, or fire blankets.
  • Place valuable items into well sealed containers or tins.
  • Make your house as airtight as possible.
  • Close windows, doors and shutters.
  • Close all internal doors.
  • Put non-flammable draught stoppers, or wet towels at doors and other gaps.

If you leave, take your most precious possessions.

If your house is damaged by fire, your valuables will most likely have suffered fire, smoke, heat and water damage. In the case of serious fire damage, very little may remain, and badly burnt items may be beyond salvage. Yet, sometimes it is surprising what survives.

Don’t assume everything is lost.

Partially burnt, wet, smoke or soot damaged items can be saved.

AICCM’s brochure, is also full of helpful advice.

If you need advice on salvaging damaged collections, contact M&G NSW or go to the AICCM disaster webpage at http://www.aiccm.org.au/disaster

In this article

Museums & Galleries of NSW helps museums, galleries and Aboriginal cultural centres of NSW create exciting and inspiring experiences for visitors and strong, thriving local communities. We develop their skills, connect them with others in the industry, provide funding, point visitors their way, and give them access to ground-breaking exhibitions.

Museums & Galleries of NSW is supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW.

Stay in touch

M&Gazine

Our latest e-news is packed with news, events, and exhibition info.