Emergency Services Minister Bob Wiese today called on the community for a unified and active approach to fire prevention.
Opening Fire Awareness Week, Mr Wiese said Western Australians had a responsibility to be fire cautious at all times around the home, business or in rural and bushland areas.
"Preventing fire is everyone's business," he said.
"Our homes and the environment should be places of safety and comfort and yet they can so easily be turned into death traps when people become complacent and careless about fire prevention."
Mr Wiese said fire caused more than $40 million damage to property in WA during 1994-95, with firefighters being called out to combat more than 13,000 reported outbreaks of fire.
"Most important is the devastating cost in human suffering caused from injuries, the destruction of treasured possessions or when jobs are lost through businesses being destroyed," he said.
"There is also the environmental tragedy when every year thousands of hectares of bushland and farmland go up in flames wiping out stock, crops and native flora and fauna."
Mr Wiese said Fire Awareness Week was an opportunity for people to become more conscious about the danger of fire and to accept a personal role in fire safety.
"Everyone has a duty to protect the community from a threat which so often is a result of accidental, negligent or deliberate actions by another person," he said.
"There are numerous simple precautions against fire, such as using barbecue facilities properly, installing smoke alarms in the home and having electrical appliances regularly serviced.
"It is ironic that children are sometimes the best-educated and most sensible advocates of fire prevention habits and perhaps parents need to listen to their children and make fire safety a family responsibility."
Media contact: Mark Thompson 222 9595