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Media Release

Brampton Fire using big data to help save lives


BRAMPTON, ON – Brampton Fire and Emergency Services (BFES) is using big data to drive its public education efforts and improve fire safety in Brampton.

Using a combination of in-house records, Environics data, and other innovative technologies – BFES has developed a stronger understanding of where fires are occurring across Brampton, what’s causing them and more. Specifically, BFES identified three neighbourhoods with higher incidence of fires and mapped out a five-year plan to lower those rates.

The three target neighbourhoods are Armbro Heights, in the city’s south end, Brampton West, in central-west Brampton, and City Centre, adjacent to Bramalea City Centre shopping mall. To tell the story of these three zones and corresponding fire safety concerns, Brampton Fire developed a map-based, visual presentation. The presentation is accessible through a computer or mobile device, and the background data is open to everyone.

Between 2012 and 2017, these three zones saw almost 250 fires, representing 32 per cent of all Brampton residential fires. Between 30 and 40 percent of these fires started in the kitchen. Barbecuing or cooking in the garage and improperly discarded smoking materials were also significant contributing causes.

Some of the target neighbourhoods have a large number of high-rise residential buildings, and in general, the GTA has seen a one to two per cent increase in the number of high rise fires every year. There are only 88 high rise apartment buildings in Brampton, but fires at these locations account for 16 per cent of all residential fires.

BFES is responding with a multi-faceted public education and fire prevention effort with a goal to reduce the number of incidents in these areas over the next five years. Key messages include the dangers of unattended cooking and the importance of working smoke alarms.

Over the past six months, BFES increased promotional efforts in Armbro Heights, Brampton West and City Centre by:
• geo-located social media advertising
• advertising in local retail and community locations
• fire truck messaging
• television screens in high-rise lobbies
• visiting houses, apartments, schools and community gathering areas
• participating in community events

All Brampton firefighters have been trained to the equivalent of a certified level one fire safety educator. Fire prevention officers are stepping up safety inspections, focusing on high-rise buildings and vulnerable occupancies like seniors’ homes.

To date, almost 7,000 elementary and high school students in the three zones have had fire safety presentations. More than 2,500 high-rise residences had location-specific information delivered to them, and more than 1,000 high-rise residents have spoken to fire personnel about fire safety.

More public education is planned for the upcoming months. For information on fire safety, please visit www.bramptonfire.com

Simple fire safety tips:
• Always stay in the kitchen while cooking, and don’t cook when you’re sleepy.
• Never use barbecues or other cookers in your garage.
• Install smoke alarms on every storey and outside all sleeping areas of your home.
• For added protection, install a smoke alarm in every bedroom according to manufacturer’s recommendations.
• Test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms monthly by pressing the test button. Change the batteries every year.
• Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms wear out over time. Replace alarms according to manufacturer’s recommendations.
• If you smoke, stay alert, and use deep ashtrays.

Quotes:
“Brampton Fire is again leading the way in Canada, using tools and technology to develop strategies to identify and combat fire safety concerns in our city. The safety of our residents is our priority, and I look forward to supporting Brampton Fire’s safety education efforts in the coming weeks.”
- Mayor Linda Jeffrey

“Unattended cooking and smoke alarms continue to be of concern in Brampton – not just in the target areas, but across the city. We know working smoke alarms save lives; ensure you install them on every floor of your home, outside all sleeping areas, and never leave food unattended while cooking.”
- Regional Councillor and Chair, Community Services, Michael Palleschi

“Our community risk reduction plan is a priority project for us. I’m confident our extra effort on training and public education, targeted to the three key areas, will have a positive impact on the lives of Brampton residents.”
- Fire Chief Bill Boyes

 


Brampton Fire’s big data story addressing fire safety concerns in Armbro Heights, Brampton West and City Centre is in this a map-based, visual presentation. The presentation is accessible through a computer or mobile device, and the background data is open to everyone.

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Brampton is thinking bigger. We are a future ready organization with a sharp focus. We know our community’s growth, youth and diversity set us apart. We sit at the centre of Canada’s innovation super corridor, encouraging investment and growing our global success. We are building vibrant urban centres that ignite opportunity and instill pride in the people who live and work here. We are moving Brampton forward to be a connected city that is innovative, inclusive and bold. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Learn more at www.brampton.ca.
 
MEDIA CONTACT
Natalie Stogdill
Media Coordinator
City of Brampton
905.874.3654 |  natalie.stogdill@brampton.ca