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InFlame – turning community emotion into fire safety action

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02 Jul 2013
MFB will target communities affected by significant residential fires in an Australian- first program, delivering fire safety information right to their mailbox.

The InFlame program, which will target 50,000 homes in the Metropolitan District each year, was launched this morning at Footscray Fire Station.

Following a significant fire, community awareness and concern develops among local residents.  This presents an opportunity for the MFB to send fire safety preparedness and prevention information to that receptive community.

• In 2012, in the Metropolitan District, there were 1,747 fires involving residential properties
• 151 of these were 2nd alarm or above response (seven or more fire appliances responded)
• The estimated damage of these fires is $26.3 million

Through the InFlame program neighbouring properties will receive fire safety information from MFB in the mail in the days following a significant fire. The mail out will alert them to the incident and outline steps they could take to avoid a similar occurrence at their home.

The materials sent to homes are action-based and provide links to the MFB website to assist households with all the fire safety information that they need.

MFB Chief Officer Shane Wright said the project had been developed over a number of years and had proven successful in a pilot program in 2010.

“The program sends targeted information to concerned communities, at a time when locals are most likely to take action in their own homes to protect themselves from fires in the home,” Mr Wright said.

 “In this way, InFlame helps the community develop resilience to fires in the home.”
MFB CEO Nick Easy added that the technology used was developed by the MFB and was the first of its kind in Australia, with the potential to be rolled out by other emergency services organisations.

“InFlame is a useful tool for community engagement following residential fires, but could also be adopted by other agencies for a variety of uses as it brings together several state and local government data sources,” he said.

During the InFlame trial conducted in Melbourne’s northern suburbs in 2010, around 9000 homes were contacted. Following this, a survey of residents that received the fire safety information showed 65 per cent of the homes improved their knowledge of fire safety and 70 per cent of homes undertook some form of fire safety preparedness action in their home.

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