AWARENESS AND ADOPTION OF FIRESMART CANADA: BARRIERS AND INCENTIVES
Homeowners and communities in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) are strongly encouraged to protect their property from the risk of damage from forest fires. FireSmart Canada has been created for this purpose and is recognized as a powerful tool to mitigate losses caused by fires; however, individuals and organizations in the WUI have not fully committed to self-protection. This research aimed to identify and assess the factors that influence the awareness and adoption of FireSmart activities in Canada. I used binary logistic regression techniques to test the effects of socio-demographic and other pertinent factors on FireSmart familiarity and engagement. Results indicate that 77% of survey respondents have never heard of FireSmart Canada. Of those who had never heard of the program, the majority were females, urban residents, live east of Manitoba, and reported they had not experienced the threat of wildfire. For those who were familiar with FireSmart, results that limited knowledge and financial resources were the main deterrents from engaging in FireSmart. In addition, the research found that living in a rural setting, positive risk perception, fire damage experience, residence region, FireSmart awareness, level of education, gender, and age, all are significant predictors of FireSmart adoption. Moreover, FireSmart familiarity could be enhanced significantly by targeting education to certain professions, and using different media source for different age groups. Findings could be used by FireSmart Canada to increase awareness of and engagement in FireSmart activities. Results suggest (1) increasing awareness of fire risk, (2) providing education/information by advertising FireSmart principles across a range of media targeted to different age groups, (3) promote lower-cost activities that require minimal effort as a start to fire protection, (4) continue to engage with and encourage the insurance industry to increase awareness of FireSmart Canada by providing education regarding FireSmart principles and developing incentives to adopt such principles.
FIRESMART, AWARENESS, ADOPTION, BINARY LOGISTIC REGRESSION, RISK PERCEPTION, SOCIO-DEMOGRAPHIC FACTORS
Master of Science (M.Sc.)
Agricultural and Resource Economics