Improving urban fire prevention activities with GIS technology

Posted: Feb. 16, 2017

A recent study by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health underscores the need for fire departments to find more efficient ways to target and track smoke alarm canvassing and installation programs. Geographic information systems (GIS) can provide departments with these capabilities.

GIS map

Research takeaways

This study was the first to use GIS technology for evaluating fire prevention services. Findings include:

Source: Utilizing GIS technology to improve fire prevention activities in an urban fire department. Journal of Burn Care and Research. Vol 36 (4), July-August 2015.

Smoke alarm distribution programs are inefficient unless they can target and track households that are in need of the smoke alarms. Several earlier studies have clearly shown that residents greatly over report the presence and working condition of smoke alarms. GIS is used to good effect for fire suppression purposes, but fire prevention efforts can also benefit by using GIS to better target high-risk areas and populations.

Learn more about this research

This research article on improving urban fire prevention activities with GIS technology is available through our library by contacting netclrc@fema.dhs.gov. Interested readers may also be able to access the article through their local library or through the publisher’s website.

This summary is for informational purposes only. More +
As such, the content does not reflect any official positions, policies, or guidelines on behalf of the sender, the U.S. Fire Administration, FEMA, DHS, nor any other federal agencies, departments or contracting entities. Similarly, this summary does not represent in any manner an official endorsement or relationship to any private or public companies, organizations/associations, or any authors or individuals cited or websites associated within the article.

Case study: Get Alarmed, Tennessee

Learn how the Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office used GIS to target at-risk area’s and improve the efficiency of their prevention outreach. Read the case study PDF 201 KB.

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