Minnesota partners with UrbanLogiq to improve firefighting technology

Working with data analytics firm UrbanLogiq, the State Fire Marshal Division (SFMD) of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety has developed Fire Analysis Tool, a software platform that assesses fire risk, identifies local factors, and predicts fire risk trends. This software empowers SFMD employees and Minnesota firefighters to make faster, more impactful decisions that focus directly on saving lives.

“Data is critical to enabling firefighters and fire chiefs to prevent fires, save lives and continue with the important work they do every day. That’s why we’re so passionate about this tool and proud to put it in the hands of our firefighters.” – Jim Smith, State Fire Marshal.


In 2017, Minnesota fire deaths hit a 22-year high. 68 people died in fires, a 58% increase from 2016 and the highest number since 1995. Another worrying increase was the number of people over 60 who died in fires, which increased by 119% in 2017. These alarming statistics prompted the SFMD to take a closer look at the data and find more strategic ways to bring those numbers down.

“This data is helping us examine the patterns in our communities and reduce the risk of people ending up in hospital and losing their lives and property. When we can reduce these risks, we can improve the lives of the communities we serve,” – Casidy Anderson, Minneapolis Fire Department Community Risk Reduction Officer.


The SFMD commissioned UrbanLogiq to develop the fire analysis tool. UrbanLogiq took historical fire data from 2004 and blended it with other open source data and demographic data to understand a community’s profile and its specific needs. When all the pieces make sense and are easy for firefighters to use, they can focus their approach and put a fair perspective on firefighting and fire prevention.

“There are a lot of things we can do to reduce the likelihood of fires when we have the data to underpin our efforts and help us focus our efforts,” – Bob Reif, Deputy State Fire Marshal.

The fire analysis tool analyzes historical fire events to identify patterns and determine a fire risk index. It uses a machine learning algorithm to predict the likelihood that fire risk will increase or decrease in a region. By analyzing all disparate data sources and consolidating easily accessible insights into one unified platform, firefighters can:

● Identify past, current and future high fire risk areas to focus reconnaissance and fire prevention efforts

● Identify the biggest contributors to fires in each community and develop strategies to reduce them

● Identify high-risk populations (ie, low-income and elderly populations) to focus resources

● Measure and track the impact of firefighting efforts

“The predictive model will help a boss figure out if it’s okay that we’re likely to see this type of fire in that area if we don’t intervene over the next few months or weeks, whatever it may be.” It’s something we all in the state have to embrace if we’re going to do something effectively to prevent not just fire deaths, but fires in general.” – Bob Reif, Deputy State Fire Marshal.

When it comes to fire protection, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Every community, every neighborhood and even every block is unique. When it comes to risk mitigation strategies, what works for one department may not work for another. Access to critical insights with just a few clicks empowers fire officials to save more lives by providing specific solutions to the needs of every department across the state.

“Now we can be very specific in a department with very limited resources. They now know where to get the best bang for their buck, the best bang for the buck they can invest in prevention efforts,” – Bob Reif, Deputy State Fire Marshal.


Who is UrbanLogiq? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmp-eRd8OUg&t=1s UrbanLogiq helps governments build better communities with data. Our cloud-based platform consolidates data fragmented into silos to create a unified view of a community. UrbanLogiq then uses artificial intelligence to derive insights and streamline processes, offering a revolutionary way to help government agencies make faster, cheaper, and more accurate decisions for the benefit of all.


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