- 84 per cent of WA residents do not know what they would do during a fire
- New $1m advertising campaign to raise awareness of personal risk
- Campaign aims to target complacency and move people into action
A bold new $1 million advertising campaign launched today will bring home the realities of catastrophic and severe fires with frank messages such as the fact that there will never be enough fire trucks for every home when a major fire hits.
Emergency Services Minister Francis Logan has called on the Western Australian community to sit up and take notice when it comes to the dangers of bushfires and to accept their personal responsibility.
Research conducted by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services shows only 16 per cent of the WA community have a plan for what they would do during a bushfire.
It also found that 43 per cent of Western Australians did not feel that bushfires were a risk to their safety and 90 per cent of residents living in a metropolitan area, including those in high bushfire prone areas, have not prepared themselves or their homes ahead of the bushfire season.
Fire can travel up to 25 kilometres an hour and send burning embers flying for kilometres, sparking new fires that severely test volunteer and career emergency services.
The radiant heat from a fire can also severely burn unprotected skin even from 100 metres away.
As several recent emergency situations around Australia including the recent fires in Queensland and California in the United States have demonstrated, when a major fire hits there will never be as many fire trucks and firefighters as there are houses, so people must take responsibility for their own safety.
Western Australians are urged to visit http://www.firechat.wa.gov.au today to create a plan that could save their life and those of their family.
Comments attributed to Emergency Services Minister Francis Logan:
"It is very concerning that only 16 per cent of Western Australians know what they would do during a bushfire. This has to change.
"This bold advertising campaign is designed to make people sit up and take notice and educate them about the dangers of bushfires.
"Volunteer and career firefighters do an amazing job risking their lives to protect our community but they can't be everywhere at once.
"People have to start taking responsibility for their own safety.
"Don't wait for a knock at the door, phone call or text message, if you see flames or smoke you have to take action immediately to survive.
"We live in a State where bushfires can strike just as easily in a forested area as they can in housing estates bordering natural vegetation, so everyone needs to think very carefully about their own personal safety."
Minister's office - 6552 6300