The purpose of this paper is to examine how fire services use social media to educate the public about safety and fire prevention.
Grounded theoretical methods were employed in a rigorous qualitative analysis of five significant fire services’ Twitter accounts in Ontario, Canada.
Seven main themes emerged from the data, with an overarching conclusion that tweets made by fire service organisations and professionals do not focus primarily on fire safety.
This paper addresses a gap in the literature in terms of understanding how social media communicates information about all three lines of defence against fire, with a focus on the first two: public fire safety education, fire safety standards and enforcement and emergency response.
The authors suggest that fire services need to employ a more segmented approach to social media posts with an objective to engage and educate the public.
This paper is the first extensive qualitative analysis to consider the particulars of fire services’ social media presence.
Lauricella, S. and Pankhurst, K.-L. (2018), "The safe tweet: social media use by Ontario fire services", International Journal of Emergency Services, Vol. 7 No. 3, pp. 179-191. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJES-09-2017-0048
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