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Householders’ safety-related decisions, plans, actions and outcomes during the 7 February 2009 Victorian (Australia) wildfires

Journal Article


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Abstract


  • This study examined decisions made by householders under wildfire threat. Data were obtained from

    interviews with survivors of severe wildfires in Victoria (Australia) on 7 February 2009 which killed 172

    civilians and destroyed more than 2000 homes. Prior to this, Australian fire agency community wildfire

    safety policy was that residents should: ‘Prepare, stay and defend or leave early’. Most of the 223

    interviewees who stayed and defended did so because this was their wildfire safety plan, and they

    believed that they would be successful despite the predicted extreme fire danger weather. In 79% of

    cases, defence was successful; for the remaining 21% the house was destroyed and several lives were

    imperilled. Of the 216 who left for a safer location only 39% said that this was their wildfire safety plan;

    for most, the action of leaving was triggered by realisation of the imminent threat posed by the fire; 36%

    self-evacuated under hazardous conditions. The findings suggest that community wildfire safety

    programs should emphasize: (a) the risks associated with staying to defend a property; and (b) how

    householders should prepare in order to leave safely if a fire threatens.

UOW Authors


  •   Mclennan, J (external author)
  •   Elliott, George A. (external author)
  •   Omodei, M (external author)
  •   Whittaker, Joshua

Publication Date


  • 2013

Citation


  • Mclennan, J., Elliott, G., Omodei, M. & Whittaker, J. (2013). Householders’ safety-related decisions, plans, actions and outcomes during the 7 February 2009 Victorian (Australia) wildfires. Fire Safety Journal, 61 175-184.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84884830074

Ro Full-text Url


  • https://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1301&context=smhpapers1

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/smhpapers1/297

Has Global Citation Frequency


Number Of Pages


  • 9

Start Page


  • 175

End Page


  • 184

Volume


  • 61

Place Of Publication


  • United Kingdom

Abstract


  • This study examined decisions made by householders under wildfire threat. Data were obtained from

    interviews with survivors of severe wildfires in Victoria (Australia) on 7 February 2009 which killed 172

    civilians and destroyed more than 2000 homes. Prior to this, Australian fire agency community wildfire

    safety policy was that residents should: ‘Prepare, stay and defend or leave early’. Most of the 223

    interviewees who stayed and defended did so because this was their wildfire safety plan, and they

    believed that they would be successful despite the predicted extreme fire danger weather. In 79% of

    cases, defence was successful; for the remaining 21% the house was destroyed and several lives were

    imperilled. Of the 216 who left for a safer location only 39% said that this was their wildfire safety plan;

    for most, the action of leaving was triggered by realisation of the imminent threat posed by the fire; 36%

    self-evacuated under hazardous conditions. The findings suggest that community wildfire safety

    programs should emphasize: (a) the risks associated with staying to defend a property; and (b) how

    householders should prepare in order to leave safely if a fire threatens.

UOW Authors


  •   Mclennan, J (external author)
  •   Elliott, George A. (external author)
  •   Omodei, M (external author)
  •   Whittaker, Joshua

Publication Date


  • 2013

Citation


  • Mclennan, J., Elliott, G., Omodei, M. & Whittaker, J. (2013). Householders’ safety-related decisions, plans, actions and outcomes during the 7 February 2009 Victorian (Australia) wildfires. Fire Safety Journal, 61 175-184.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84884830074

Ro Full-text Url


  • https://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1301&context=smhpapers1

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/smhpapers1/297

Has Global Citation Frequency


Number Of Pages


  • 9

Start Page


  • 175

End Page


  • 184

Volume


  • 61

Place Of Publication


  • United Kingdom