Apathetic Public? Ignorant? Neither?

Issue 1 and Volume 135.

Apathetic Public? Ignorant? Neither? features How often have we heard and said that the main obstacles to a better fire safety record are apathy and ignorance—that people really do not care about or are unaware of proper fire safety requirements? I argue that, with a few exceptions involving children and fire survival techniques, people are neither apathetic nor ignorant about fire. Let me cite an obvious example of my point. That it is dangerous to smoke in bed is surely one of the most widely known of the fire prevention commandments. Yet, careless smoking continues to be the foremost cause of fatal fires. Do people continue to smoke in bed because they do not care if they suffer a fire? Because they are unaware of its hazards? Of course not. People smoke in bed despite the known risk because they enjoy it, or because it seems appropriate for the time…

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