Notes from the mediascape: NSW Fire & Rescue gets social

The Australian fire unit launches a Facebook audit of fire safety habits and puts the faces of participants on display.

Household fires can happen anywhere at anytime, and all it takes is a fallen lit candle or a stove top left burning. But, according to research done by Australia’s Fire and Rescue North South Wales (FRNSW), a surprising amount of 18- to 34-year-old residents are unaware of their high-risk behaviour, Graeme Watson, community safety coordinator, NSW Fire Brigades, tells MiC.

In order to combat the lack of fire safety knowledge, FRNSW decided to launch an innovative campaign that involves Australians completing a Facebook audit with the incentive of having their face displayed on a bronze statue.

After responding to a series of questions relating to what kind of home they live in and their activities (such as smoking, burning incense and leaving appliances on), the Facebook Fire Safety audit presented participants with a percentage evaluation that lets them know if they are at risk of causing a fire, or if they are in the clear.

Participants were then asked to upload an image of their face to the social media page, which was immediately displayed on the digital head of a fireman statue located in Sydney. The four-week campaign launched Aug. 16 and it has already received 1,100 completed audits, says Watson.

The social media campaign, with Mercer Bell on the creative and DM Agency on media, is a first for the Fire and Rescue unit and will be complemented by ads on Facebook as well as through promotion on relevant blog pages, he says.

“We want people to know that a fire can happen to anyone and so you need to do things not only to prevent them from happening, but to also be ready if one does occur,” he says. “We are trying to speak to [a target audience of 18- to 34-year olds] via a medium that they are familiar with and use consistently.”