Societal safeguards, established by those who have shared perceptions in the importance of safety and taking preventative measures, reduce the incidence of accidents that harm people and damage property. These safeguards prevent or discourage community members from partaking in careless behavior that often leads to accidents. Wildland urban interface communities that recognize the importance of safety and take preventive measures are likely to have a lower rate of accidental wildfire. Research has established a strong link between a positive safety culture and a reduction in accidents. This paper tests whether the lack of societal safeguards results in higher rates of accidental wildfires by modeling unintentional human caused wildfires as a function of constructed Broken Window indices. Areas with abandoned buildings and unkempt infrastructure identify areas with social disorder, where individuals are more likely to partake in careless behaviors that result in frequent accidents. The results from this analysis suggest that social collaboration and crime prevention programs as well as wildfire safety programs may be effective tools in preventing accidental wildfire ignitions and damage.
Proceedings Title: Proceedings for the Third Human Dimensions of Wildland Fire Conference
Conference Dates: April 16-19, 2012
Conference Location: Seattle, WA
Conference Title: Third Human Dimensions of Wildland Fire Conference
Pub Type: Conferences
social disorder, broken windows, accidents, fire, fire safety