Living on the edge
What motivates people to safeguard their properties from fire hazard and improve their chances of survival?
This was one of the key questions posed by the recent Research To Drive Change online forum, Living On The Edge. A full video of the forum is available for viewing here.
The event showcased the research of Professor Ross Bradstock (University of Wollongong) and Associate Professor Ruth Beilin (University of Melbourne). Industry commentary and insights were provided by Mike Wouters, senior fire ecologist in South Australia’s Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources.
The separate but linked studies provide useful perspectives on how people living in fire-prone areas perceive fire risks from fuel hazards. The findings also suggest competing values and lifestyle priorities may be potential barriers to action on hazard reduction.
Community safety educators could use the insights to start conversations with householders on what they needed to safeguard their properties and improve their chances of survival in the event of a bushfire.
Mr Wouters said providing detailed risk information and offering physical support for fuel reduction activities on properties (among other options) may encourage people to make fire preparation and management a higher priority or overcome some of the barriers to taking action.
Living On the Edge is the sixth in the Bushfire CRC’s Research To Drive Change online forum series. For further information, to register, or explore past and future forums, visit the Research To Drive Change page on the Bushfire CRC website.