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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(2), 139; doi:10.3390/ijerph14020139

Improved Methods for Fire Risk Assessment in Low-Income and Informal Settlements

1
Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, UK
2
Development Planning Unit, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 October 2016 / Accepted: 16 January 2017 / Published: 1 February 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Global Health)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [292 KB, uploaded 14 February 2017]

Abstract

Fires cause over 300,000 deaths annually worldwide and leave millions more with permanent injuries: some 95% of these deaths are in low- and middle-income countries. Burn injury risk is strongly associated with low-income and informal (or slum) settlements, which are growing rapidly in an urbanising world. Fire policy and mitigation strategies in poorer countries are constrained by inadequate data on incidence, impacts, and causes, which is mainly due to a lack of capacity and resources for data collection, analysis, and modelling. As a first step towards overcoming such challenges, this project reviewed the literature on the subject to assess the potential of a range of methods and tools for identifying, assessing, and addressing fire risk in low-income and informal settlements; the process was supported by an expert workshop at University College London in May 2016. We suggest that community-based risk and vulnerability assessment methods, which are widely used in disaster risk reduction, could be adapted to urban fire risk assessment, and could be enhanced by advances in crowdsourcing and citizen science for geospatial data creation and collection. To assist urban planners, emergency managers, and community organisations who are working in resource-constrained settings to identify and assess relevant fire risk factors, we also suggest an improved analytical framework based on the Haddon Matrix. View Full-Text
Keywords: fire; risk assessment; geospatial technologies; low-income settlements; extensive risk fire; risk assessment; geospatial technologies; low-income settlements; extensive risk
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Twigg, J.; Christie, N.; Haworth, J.; Osuteye, E.; Skarlatidou, A. Improved Methods for Fire Risk Assessment in Low-Income and Informal Settlements. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 139.

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