I agree it's silly that my townies keep trying to go down into a 3rd or 4th level dungeon room that is absolutely filled with monsters to collect multiple dead bodies of heroes that have fallen. Surely word would have gotten around to the townies that 3 or 4 heroes have fallen in the 4th level dungeon and there would be little or nobody willing to go down there just to collect the remains. It's silly the way that they work right now but we all know it's still early alpha.
I think the fear mechanic will pretty much take care of that, if the game flags the object in the dangerous location as inaccessible in the townie's search routine for X minutes. It will need a persistent duration to keep him from repeatedly trying to go get it, and getting stuck in a "fetch loop," but also has to expire so to not make that item unusable forever. Perhaps each item will need a "Dangerous" flag, instead of trying to keep individual lists of Things In Dangerous Places for every townie. If townies don't get bravery bonuses for equipped armor and weapons, it could be a simple flag. If they do get bravery bonuses for being equipped, then the "fear score" that the townie encountered in the area would have to be scored as a temporary value.
Example: Solo townie decides it's high time that chunk of goblinite got hauled into storage, and goes down to fetch it. On the way there, he runs into three goblins and a red slime in a group. Since the threat value is higher than his personal bravery value, he runs away, and the goblinite he was targeting gets the fear value of (goblinx3 + redslime) for X minutes. After X minutes, the fear value for that item is zeroed, and one of the townies thinks "Hmm, I wonder if there's still monsters in that room on the way to that one goblinite. I guess I'll go see." and down he goes.