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New tool will help Minnesota firefighters save lives

The software assesses risks and identifies trends that can help firefighters prevent fires before they ignite.
Credit: Peter Kim - stock.adobe.com

MINNESOTA, USA — The Minnesota Department of Public Safety State Fire Marshal Division announced Wednesday that they are launching a new tool that will help firefighters identify patterns and hopefully prevent future fires. 

The new software platform, known as the Fire Risk Analysis Tool, maps which areas in a given community suffer the most fires and pinpoints the causes. Fire chiefs can then use the data to determine the following:

  • Identify high-risk populations and communities to better focus resources.
  • Identify staffing needs at fire stations based on the numbers and types of fires.
  • Plan where mobile shifts should park their rigs at specific times.
  • Determine which neighborhoods need public education around fire prevention.
  • Measure and track fire mitigation efforts.
  • Strategize where to build future fire stations.

The software hosts fire data going back to 2004, as well as open source and demographic data, which will help with assessing specific community needs and demographics related to fire, according to DPS.

“When it comes to fire prevention, it is not a one size fits all solution,” said Deputy State Fire Marshal Bob Reif. “Each community is unique. In terms of risk reduction strategies, what works for one department may not work for another. Access to these critical insights empowers fire officials to save more lives by catering specific solutions for the needs of their individual communities.”

The software development planning began back in 2017 after Minnesota fire deaths reached a 22-year high, with 68. 

SMFD staff worked with Vancouver-based UrbanLogiq to build the platform that was officially launched Wednesday. 

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