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Wuschke K.,Simon Fraser University | Clare J.,Surrey Fire Services | Clare J.,University of Western Australia | Garis L.,Surrey Fire Services | Garis L.,University of the Fraser Valley
Fire Safety Journal | Year: 2013

Environmental criminology theory has established that crime is non-random across time and space, instead clustering in specific, predictable ways. This has resulted in the development of theories that have helped generate a suite of highly effective, targeted crime prevention tools. Although access to high-quality temporal and spatial fire event data has improved in recent decades, the nexus between spatial/temporal clustering, theory, and targeted fire prevention remains largely unexplored. To address this, the current paper compares the temporal and spatial distributions of residential structure fire and residential burglary within a North American city over a three year period. This analysis reveals (a) overlapping spatial clustering for these two incident types, and (b) distinct temporal patterns; all of which can be explained by the logic underpinning environmental criminology theory. The extrapolation of these findings to targeted fire prevention is discussed with respect to the opportunity this presents for the fire service. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source


Clare J.,Surrey Fire Services | Clare J.,University of Western Australia | Garis L.,Surrey Fire Services | Garis L.,University of the Fraser Valley | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Safety Research | Year: 2012

Introduction: In 2008, Surrey Fire Services, British Columbia, commenced a firefighter-delivered, door-to-door fire-prevention education and smoke alarm examination/installation initiative with the intention of reducing the frequency and severity of residential structure fires in the City of Surrey. Method: High-risk zones within the city were identified and 18,473 home visits were undertaken across seven temporal delivery cohorts (13.8% of non-apartment dwellings in the city). The frequency and severity of fires pre- and post- the home visit intervention was examined in comparison to randomized high-risk cluster controls. Results: Overall, the frequency of fires was found to have reduced in the city overall, however, the reduction in the intervention cohorts was significantly larger than for controls. Furthermore, when fires did occur within the intervention cohorts, smoke detectors were activated more frequently and the fires were confined to the object of origin more often post-home visits. No equivalent pattern was observed for the cluster control. Impact on Industry: On-duty fire fighters can reduce the frequency and severity of residential fires through targeted, door-to-door distribution of fire prevention education in high-risk areas. © 2012 National Safety Council and Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

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