Once a house fire has been extinguished by Fire and Rescue NSW, residents are often faced with the task of cleaning up or demolishing their damaged property.
This clean-up phase can present health risks, with many houses in the city containing asbestos that could be released during the demolition process.
For this reason, locals are strongly encouraged to call Council before proceeding with any work.
"Asbestos was used in many building materials until the late 1980s, and materials containing asbestos are still found in many NSW houses including in Broken Hill," said Council's Manager Planning, Development and Compliance, Francois Van Der Berg.
"During a fire, building materials that contain asbestos will typically crack and become friable - flaky and brittle.
"Friable asbestos is a much greater health risk than bonded asbestos, and fire damaged houses have the potential to release asbestos fibres into the atmosphere and pose a health risk."
Mr Van Der Berg said Council can assist home owners during the clean-up and demolition process to ensure that health risks are minimised.
"The owner of a fire damaged building is responsible for ensuring any public health and safety issues arising from their building or their property is well managed," he said.
"The local Council and a number of State Government departments such as SafeWork NSW and the Environment Protection Agency can oversee the owner’s actions to ensure that public health and safety is protected.
"Residents are requested to report fire damaged buildings to Council as soon as possible so that Council can work with the owner on clean-up procedures.
"We can also issue demolition orders which will negate the requirements for development approvals to carry out demolition work."
Anyone seeking further information or assistance with fire damaged buildings can contact Council on 8080 3300.