To learn the best way to reach residents of Memphis neighborhoods with the highest risk to fires, fire deaths, and fire injuries, NFPA hired the Harvest Research Group, LLC to conduct focus groups with a variety of groups. The goal of the research was to explore perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors about fires and fire prevention that the Memphis Fire Department could use to help design public education programs.
The Memphis Fire Department and NFPA staff chose individual groups that consisted of mothers with children ages 8 and younger; pastors of churches in South Memphis; adults 66 and over living independently or with a relative; adults ages 21 to 34; adults ages 35 to 49; and adults ages 50 to 64.
For the majority of participants, crime was a more salient threat to their quality of life and sense of safety than fire. However, respondents spoke of neighbors or relatives who had lost everything to fire. When they learned of the numbers of fire deaths and injuries in their neighborhoods, they were more eager to do something to prevent those fires.
Among the participants’ comments were:
“Make people aware of the facts. If people were more aware, they’d be more conscious.”
“If you know better, you do better.”
“I have an uncle who’s in a chair in a rental (apartment), and it should be condemned. He can’t afford to go anywhere else, and the owners don’t even care.”
“It would have to be something major to make me take time out of my day. You’ll have to tell me, “This is going to save you and your kids.”
Read the complete report,
“Fire Safety Education and Outreach Programs: Memphis, Tennessee,” online.<br />
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