Utilizing GIS Technology to Improve Fire Prevention Activities in an Urban Fire Department

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2 Scopus citations


The Baltimore City Fire Department (BCFD) has been installing smoke alarms city wide for more than three decades. Though data on each visit are entered into a database, no system existed for using these data for planning or evaluation. The objective of this study is to use Geographic Information System (GIS) technology and existing databases to 1) determine the number of residences in need of a home visit; 2) determine total visits, visits per household, and number of homes entered for eligible households; and 3) demonstrate integration of various data via GIS for use in prevention planning. The tax assessment database was queried to determine the number of eligible (as determined by BCFD policy) residences in need of a visit. Each attempted BCFD home visit was coded to identify, if the BCFD personnel interacted with residents ("pass door") and installed alarms. Home visits were geocoded and compared to the tax assessment database to determine city wide pass door rates. Frequency of visits was run by individual residences to measure efficiency. A total of 206,850 residences met BCFD eligibility for a home visit. In 2007, the BCFD attempted 181,757 home visits and 177,213 were successfully geocoded to 122,118 addresses. A total of 122,118 eligible residences (59%) received a home visit. A total of 35,317 residences (29%) received a repeat visit attempt. The pass door rate was 22% (46,429) of all residences. GIS technology offers a promising means for fire departments to plan and evaluate the fire prevention services they provide.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)478-483
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Burn Care and Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 21 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Rehabilitation


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