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Computer modelling to predict future fires

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Firefighters and academics are joining forces to better prevent and prepare for future fires. Using, sophisticated computer simulation technology, firefighters will be better able to predict the likely time and location of future fires. Firefighters already have access to a lot of the information, but it is so dispersed across online sources, reports and local authority records, that it is difficult to make sense of. For the first time ever, this information will be gathered together. Sophisticated computer modelling techniques will use geographical, demographical and behavioural data to predict when and where different emergencies may occur. Fire Map   The project, called PREMONITION, is a collaborative effort of the University of Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University and South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue. This data provided will allow firefighters to make better, more informed decisions about where their budget and resources should be allocated. It’ll also allow them to better plan for emergencies and introduce more effective fire prevention initiatives. The project is being led by Dr Daniela Romano (Department of Computer Science at the University of Sheffield), Dr Dermot Breslin, (Sheffield University Management School), Dr Stephen Dobson (Sheffield Hallam University’s Business Systems Department), and experts from South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (SYFRS). We live in increasingly complex social networks, with our behaviours being influenced by many interrelated factors,” explains Dr Romano. “Although fire services already have access to much of this information, there is no tool that can help them grasp all of the different strands and utilise the information in real-time to make decisions. This predictive model will unpack this complexity, and help manage resources and services targeted at the most vulnerable groups in our community.” South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue’s spokesperson, Nicola Smith, commented: “The research we are supporting with our academic partners is a cutting edge exploration of behaviours during our prevention and response activities. Partnerships with well-respected organisations like the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University will place us at the forefront of modern approaches to delivering improved community safety.” photo credit: adamjackson1984 via photopin cc
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