A new survey has found just 16 per cent of WA residents have a plan ready to enact in the event of a fire.
The State Government will target bushfire complacency in a $1 million advertising blitz this summer after a survey of WA residents found just 16 per cent have a plan ready to enact in the event of a fire.
Emergency Services Minister Francis Logan said the campaign, launched yesterday at Bold Park, encouraged households to be prepared for a bushfire and not rely on firefighters turning up to save them and their homes.
“People have to start taking responsibility for their own safety,” Mr Logan said.
“What people don’t realise is, even though you live in the centre of metropolitan Perth, you can still be at risk of bushfires.”
The Department of Fire and Emergency Services survey revealed 43 per cent of West Australians did not feel bushfires were a risk to their safety, despite 90 per cent of the State being prone to potentially deadly bushfires.
“We have to change people’s behaviour and we have to change people’s attitude,” Mr Logan said.
“It’s about responsibility and about residents and households becoming aware of their surroundings and that bushfires can approach them at any time.
“We can’t have firefighters on the corner of every street in Western Australia.
“Our volunteers do amazing jobs and our career firefighters do amazing jobs but there will never be enough fire trucks and firefighters to defend every house.
“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.”
The advertising campaign, which will be rolled out across television, radio, newspaper and online platforms, reminds WA residents that a fire can travel up to 25km/h and send burning embers flying for kilometres, sparking new fires.
It also points out that radiant heat from a fire can severely burn unprotected skin, even from up to 100m away.
DFES Commissioner Darren Klemm said the Darling Scarp, South West and south coast would again be problem areas for bushfires because of vegetation growth over winter.
But Mr Klemm said suburban Perth was also at risk and all residents needed to take action and prepare for the worst.
“The intent of this campaign is to make sure people really connect into the risks of bushfires,” he said.
“We are really personalising the risks for Western Australians. Complacency is a real issue.”
For help with a bushfire plan, visit www.firechat.wa.gov.au