Colorado Fire Protection Policy Survey

Magellan Strategies are pleased to present a summary of an online survey of 441 Colorado voters regarding their opinions of state and local fire protection policies and programs. The interviews were conducted from October 6th to 12th, 2022. The topline survey results have a +/- 4.67% margin of error at the 95 percent confidence interval. The survey data were weighted to be representative of the demographics of the Colorado registered voter population. This survey was funded by Magellan Strategies. Any questions about this survey can be directed to David Flaherty. He can be reached by email at DFlaherty@MagellanStrategies.com or by phone at 303-861-8585.

View and download the survey toplines, crosstabs, verbatim responses, and presentation by clicking on the buttons below.

Colorado Fire Protection Opinion Survey Objective and Purpose

Since 2007, Magellan Strategies has managed hundreds of opinion surveys for Colorado fire districts, local governments, school districts, special districts (fire, recreation, water), and public policy organizations. From time to time, we conduct surveys with our own resources to measure and understand the opinions and impressions of Colorado voters and residents regarding a pressing public issue or policy. State and local fire prevention, mitigation, resources, and funding plans meet that criteria.

All Colorado residents in the past few years who live in our mountain communities, the suburban Front Range, and the rural Eastern Plains have experienced the fear and tragic consequences of wildland and grassland fires. Therefore, we believed a statewide survey of residents and voters would be of interest or beneficial to Colorado’s fire protection professionals and policymakers.

Key Findings

Fire risk and its concerns are top of mind for many Coloradans. Furthermore, an overwhelming majority believe fire risk will increase in the next five years.

  • Among all respondents, 79% say fire risk in the state has increased, and 55% think it has increased in their community.
  • 42% of voters say the risk of a wildland, forest, or open space grassland fire in their community is a big concern, and 33% it is somewhat of a concern.
  • 81% of respondents think the risk of wildland, forest, or open space grassland fires will likely increase in the next five years.

Key Findings

Strong majorities of Coloradans approve of the job their local fire department or district is doing in providing fire protection services. However, a majority think their local fire department or district does not have the financial resources needed to provide an acceptable amount of fire protection services. That is a positive measurement for fire districts considering a ballot measure to generate additional funding. Yet, 55% of respondents agreed with the statement that “their local fire department or district is fiscally responsible and spends taxpayer money wisely.”

  • 73% of respondents said they approve of the job their community’s fire department or district is doing providing services, just 6% disapprove, and 21% do not have an opinion.
  • Just 29% of respondents think their local fire department or district has the financial resources needed to provide an acceptable amount of services. Furthermore, a majority of respondents, 52%, do not think their fire department or district has the financial resources to provide an acceptable amount of fire protection services.
  • 67% of Coloradans would support a tax increase to generate additional funding for their local fire department or district, and 23% would oppose it.
  • When presented with an exercise to prioritize and allocate the expenditures of a fire department’s budget, respondents ranked firefighter salaries, training, protective clothing, and equipment at the top of their lists. Conversely, salaries for fire investigators and building safety inspectors ranked toward the bottom.

Key Findings

After being educated and informed of the Colorado Fire Commission’s mission, duties, and responsibilities, respondents overwhelmingly approve of the Commission. Furthermore, Coloradans strongly approve of the Commission’s recommendations to create and fund a State Fire Coordination Center and increase funding for firefighter certification and training programs. Finally, a slight majority of respondents were familiar with the term “Wildland Urban Interface,” and a majority supported the creation of a Wildland Urban Interface Code Board.   

If you have any questions regarding this survey, please contact David Flaherty by email at DFlaherty@MagellanStrategies.com or by phone at 303-861-8585.

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