Country Fire Service urges people to prepare for bushfires

3 January 2018

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"If you have a backyard pool and a young family, would you not teach them to swim? No different as to if you live in a bushfire risk area would you not have a plan?"  

South Australia’s Country Fire Service (CFS) has launched a new campaign urging people to prepare for bushfires.

The campaign, by Nation Creative, is promoted across the state through TV, radio, press, online, social media and out of home advertising. It is also backed up through the CFS network of community engagement officers.

As summer progresses and the landscape continues to dry out, CFS says growth from winter and spring rains creates an abundance of fuel for bushfires and if you live in, travel through or visit bushfire risk areas it is critical that you recognise the need to have a plan and be prepared.

South Australian Country Fire Service principal communications officer Neil Charter tells AdNews that every year it rises to the challenge of trying to shift those people who aren’t doing anything about their bushfire safety from contemplation to action.

“Behaviour change is a slow process and one we continue to chip away at,” Charter says.

“I am happy to say research shows South Australia has been making inroads in this area and is most likely due to our investment into research and really understanding what makes people respond.”

He says this year’s campaign message was a direct result of some of its winter focus group research it conducted, particularly of those in the 18-40 year old demographic.

“It was interesting that all were aware of the consequences, it was more of a question of whether they decided to act on it or not,” Charter says.

“Hence the appeal for people not to be complacent as complacency kills. After all if you know the consequences why on earth would you risk it?
 
“A good analogy is if you have a backyard pool and a young family, would you not teach them to swim? No different as to if you live in a bushfire risk area would you not have a plan?”
 
He says driving people to something that can be done easily and provides life-saving information is “a no brainer” and is already demonstrating there is a thirst for such a solution with around 4,500 downloads already.

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