In partnership with data analytics firm UrbanLogiq, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety State Fire Marshal Division (SFMD) developed a Fire Analysis Tool, a software platform that assesses the risk of fire, identifies local contributing factors, and highlights fire risk trends. This software enables SFMD personnel and Minnesota Fire Officials to make faster and more impactful decisions directly focused on saving lives.
“Data is critical so firefighters and fire department leaders can prevent fires, save lives and continue the important work they do every day. That is why we are so passionate about this tool and proud to put it in our firefighters’ hands.” – Jim Smith, State Fire Marshal.
In 2017 fire deaths in Minnesota reached a twenty-two-year high. 68 people died in fires, a 58% increase over 2016 and the highest number since 1995. Another concerning jump was the number of people over age 60 killed in fires, which saw a 119% increase in 2017. These alarming statistics prompted the SFMD to take a closer look at the data and find more strategic ways to bring those numbers down.
“This data helps us look at the patterns that are going on in our communities and reduce the risk that is causing people to end up in the hospital, and lose their lives and property. If we can reduce those risks, we can make life better for the communities that we are serving,” – Casidy Anderson, Minneapolis Fire Department Community Risk Reduction Officer.
The SFMD contracted UrbanLogiq to develop the Fire Analysis Tool. UrbanLogiq took historical fire data dating back to 2004 and supplemented it with other open-source data and demographic data to understand a communities profile and its specific needs. Putting all the pieces together in a way that makes sense and is easy for fire officials to use, enables them to target their approach and apply an equity lens to firefighting and fire prevention.
“There’s a lot of things we can do to try and reduce the possibility of fires if we have the data to back up what we are trying to do and help us zero in on our efforts,” – Bob Reif, Deputy State Fire Marshal.
The Fire Analysis Tool analyzes historical fire events to spot patterns and determine a fire risk index. It uses a machine learning algorithm to determine the likelihood of fire risk to increase or decrease in a region. Analyzing all of the different data sources and having easily accessible insights all together in one unified platform allows fire officials to:
- Identify past, current, and future areas with a high risk of fire to focus education and fire prevention efforts
- Identify the biggest factors that contribute to fires in each community and develop strategies to reduce them
- Identify high-risk populations (i.e., low-income, and senior populations) to focus resources
- Measure and track the impact of fire mitigation efforts
“The predictive model will help a chief figure out okay, we are likely to see this type of a fire happen in this area if we don’t provide some sort of intervention in the next several months or the next several weeks whatever it might be. It’s something that all of us in the state need to embrace if we want to do something effectively for the prevention of not just fire fatalities but fires in general,” – Bob Reif, Deputy State Fire Marshal.
When it comes to fire prevention it is not a one size fits all solution. Each community, each neighborhood and even each block is unique. In terms of risk reduction strategies, what works for one department may not work for another. Access to critical insights in just a few clicks empowers fire officials to save more lives by catering specific solutions for the needs of each department across the entire state.
“Now we can be very specific in a department that has very limited resources. They now know where they are going to get the biggest bang for their buck, the biggest bang for the time that they are able to put into prevention efforts,” – Bob Reif, Deputy State Fire Marshal.
UrbanLogiq helps governments build better communities with data. Our cloud-based platform consolidates data fragmented in silos to create a unified view of a community. UrbanLogiq then uses artificial intelligence to derive insights and streamline processes, providing a revolutionary way to help government agencies make faster, cheaper, and more accurate decisions for the benefit of everyone.
Communications Manager, UrbanLogiq | www.urbanlogiq.com
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Marketing Manager, UrbanLogiq | www.urbanlogiq.com
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Public Information Officer, Minnesota Department of Public Safety
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