Study finds homeowners taking wait and see approach to fire threat

Study finds homeowners taking wait and see approach to fire threat

23 January 2014

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Australia — Work by the Bushfire Co-operative Research Centre has found people are still reluctant to leave their homes based on fire danger warnings.

The research also shows most property owners are still not making use of available information on preparing their properties for fire.

Dr Jim McLennan from Latrobe University says most people surveyed said they would wait and see how a fire develops before leaving their homes.

He says authorities should be encouraging people to prepare their homes well before a fire even if they intend to leave.

“We find that relatively few people who are going to leave actually undertake any steps to reduce their house vulnerability and reduce the danger to their house by a bushfire to increase the chances that the house will be standing when they return,” he said.

Dr McLennan says people intending to defend their properties from bushfires are generally the best prepared but he says people intending to leave their homes should also be encouraged to prepare their properties.

“This notion of the safest place to be when there’s a bushfire is somewhere else and it’s even better if your house is still standing when you return and here are some relatively simple straightforward things you could do to make it more likely,” he said.

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