News & Media

Help needed for research into hoarding

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By: Duncan Russell

Category: Health & Safety, Incidents - Structure, Planning & Research

  9.46 AM 11 February, 2015

Location: General

Views: 2882

CFA and MFB have joined forces to carry out the first statewide study into hoarding and squalor.

Over the course of turnouts during the past three years, many firefighters have seen living conditions in residences that have concerned them but, at the time, they have not been able to record their observations. 

We are asking you to cast your mind back to April 2012 and consider the period from then up to and including April 2015 and provide some information (as outlined below) to Station Officer Greg Abramovitch. Greg is collating this data for us and helping to build a picture of the extent of the hoarding problem across the state. 

Hoarding presents a significant increase in fire risk to the occupant of the premises and to firefighters attending.

Greg has been authorised to undertake this work on behalf of CFA Executive Director Mark Sullivan and Manager Community Resilience Gwynne Brennan from Communities and Communication. We really hope that you can help us with this important work.

Hoarding is the persistent accumulation of, and lack of ability to relinquish large numbers of, objects or living animals resulting in extreme clutter in or around premises. This compromises the intended use of premises and threatens health and safety.

Squalor is an unsanitary living environment that has arisen from extreme or prolonged neglect and poses substantial health and safety risks to affected people or animals residing in the affected premises as well as others in the community. i.e. rotting food/accumulated garbage, human and or animal waste, infestation of vermin.

If you've attended a property like these, please email Station Officer Greg Abramovitch at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the date or incident number and the following information about the situation (do not include the name/s of the affected person):

-     Gender

-     Approximate age/s

-     Number of occupants

-     Any visible disabilities

-     What level of hoarding (use the photographic scale below to identify incidents 5 and over)

-     Was the hoarding inside/outside or both

-     Squalor - was there rotting food, garbage, human and/or animal waste, infestation of vermin

Thank you for any information you can provide because hoarding and/or squalor represent an increased risk to responding firefighters as well as affected people and their neighbours.

Remember the closing date for incidents is April this year.

Last Updated: 11 February 2015