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Fear and fire: Ethical social marketing strategies for home fire safety for older people

By S. Bird, A. Tapp, Helen Lancaster Research and Avon Fire & Rescue Service Rosa Clarke


Avon Fire & Rescue Service use social marketing interventions to improve home fire safety amongst older people (aged 65+) in deprived areas of Bristol, UK, and this research seeks to identify the key triggers and barriers to behaviour change. Attitudes to fire and fire safety are explored, as are wider issues of the likelihood of behaviour change, and influential parties and media. We conclude that deprived older people present specific challenges to traditional social marketing strategies due to the diversity of the population and lack of research into effective segmentation. Deeply ingrained habits and routines resist behaviour change, with ethical implications for attempting to do so. The likely triggers to behaviour change are also deeply distressing, related to loss of life, pets, possessions or independence. This suggests that more subtle approaches are required using credible third parties such as daughters/sons, local news media and the Fire & Rescue Service themselves, requiring direct, one-off interventions that are more likely to be achievable than long-term sustained behaviour change

Year: 2011
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