News & Media

Combining street art with community safety

By: Duncan Russell

Category: Community Safety

  1.18 PM 12 May, 2017

Location: District 2 News

Views: 2950

On Wednesday 10 May, Castlemaine Fire Brigade members sprang into action racing their pumper and tanker to the local tattoo parlour. 

By Jay Gardiner

As they were sizing up, they noticed they couldn’t smell smoke. In fact, there was no fire at all, just a large picture that looked like a burnt wall.

Castlemaine Fire Brigade in conjunction with the Mount Alexander Shire and CFA HQ developed a new and innovative way to promote the importance of working smoke alarms, they created a fake fire. 

The project involves the use of a large 3D street graphics to create an image of a burnt building.  The tattoo parlour was photographed inside and the images were then overlayed and treated so it appears to be damaged through fire. The image was mounted onto the outside of the building giving the impression a fire having burnt the building.  It is located on the wall of ‘Castlemaine Tattoo’ at 65 Forest Street Castlemaine; it is on the road from Melbourne so locals and tourists alike will get to see the image. 

It’s not the standard brigade way of engaging with the community but Bianca Franklin, Castlemaine Brigade Community Safety Coordinator, immediately saw the benefits of the project “Tattoo Art and Street Art what a great combination, it’s important to try all avenues to help make the community safer”.

Likewise, ‘Castlemaine Tattoo’ who will now have to answer a few tricky questions from their customers was immediately supportive “Anything we can do for the brigade”.

It was truly a collaborative project between Castlemaine Fire Brigade, Mount Alexander Municipal Fire Management Planning Committee and CFA HQ.  It’s not that easy to find a blank wall with the right orientation as to be utilised for Community Safety, but find one they did.

The official media launch was held on Wednesday with local newspapers invited along as well as Win TV who filmed the brigade’s turnout for some ‘fake news’. The television story was aired that night and can be found on the CFA Community Fireguard Facebook Page.

The image is so realistic that two members of the public actually thought the building was on fire until they took a closer look.

The image is expected to last on the wall for several months so they brigade can use it not only as a community safety initiative and also as recruitment tool highlighting the brigade doesn’t just fight fires but can also create exciting and unusual ways to engage with the community.

Photos by Jay Gardiner

Last Updated: 12 May 2017