Using Data to Optimize Fire/Life Safety Efforts

Big data can have big results, when you know how to connect the dots. Take the example of New York City, where the city set about collecting data on all sorts of inputs, like noise complaints, and making the data available to departments outside of the agency which collected it. The city's fire department was looking for ways to evaluate the fire risk of the city's 300,000 structures when it could only physically get to 30,000 of them a year. Critical structures like hospitals were checked in person, but the fire department turned to the data to try to find useful correlations in the rest of the population. As it turns out, buildings with the most noise ordinance violations seemed to have a greater number of fire safety violations as well. Knowing this helped the department to prioritize limited resources to those facilities. 

Fire/life safety is one of the slowest areas to evolve, especially from the technology front. Codes are slow and steady, carefully evaluating the risk and benefit of new technologies. But there are ways to start moving in the direction of big data, analytics, and even IoT in fire/life safety. In this Building Operating Management article, I cover where the edge of innovation is in fire/life safety and how facility managers can work to decide what makes sense for them.

Check it out and tell me what you think in the comments here or at the article. Are you interested in smart fire/life safety systems? How are you mining data in this area? Let me know.

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