As the bushfire season approaches, a researcher at The University of Western Australia is looking at the links between people's attachment to their homes and how well they prepare their properties for bushfires.
PhD student Charis Anton, from UWA's School of Psychology, is carrying out the research in the Shires of Augusta-Margaret River, Collie and Kalamunda and in the City of Armadale, which are particularly susceptible to bushfires because they contain big areas of bushlands.
A report last week into the state's emergency readiness for summer revealed that the combination of a heavy fuel load, dry winter and looming unhelpful weather conditions were threatening to produce major bushfires around the state, particularly in the South-West and Mid-West.
Ms Anton said after last year's devastating fires in Margaret River and with the threat of more to come this summer, it was especially important to understand factors that affected home owners' responses to bushfire preparation.
"While there hasn't been much research in Australia on people's attachment to where they live, it seems reasonable to believe that the level of attachment a person feels to their environment will affect the way they respond to planning and preparing for fires," she said.
Ms Anton will conduct anonymous phone interviews during the next few months and the survey, "The effect of place attachment on individual bushfire preparedness for people living in rural and urban-fringe communities", can be accessed online.
The study is funded by the Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre.
Charis Anton (UWA School of Psychology) (+61 8) 6488 1453 / (+61 4) 30 072 027
Michael Sinclair-Jones (UWA Public Affairs) (+61 8) 6488 3229 / (+61 4) 00 700 783