GIS for Fire Safety

I started looking at different aspects of GIS (Geographic information system) and usability of it  in disaster management especially man mad disaster such as fire in high rise building. GIS can help us visualize, understand, question and interpret data in many ways that reveal relationships, patterns, and trends in the form of maps, globes, reports, and charts. GIS is helpful to many people who are associated with urban planning, police department, fire department, government agencies, and many more. Using GIS, officials can pinpoint hazards and begin to evaluate the consequences of potential emergencies or disasters.

Chicago is full of the skyscrapers and fire safety is one of the biggest issues for the high rise buildings.  Under the City of Chicago Municipal Code high-rise buildings constructed after 1975 enjoy a high level of protection, since they must either be compartmented or sprinklered. But unfortunately, the Municipal Code does not require high-rise buildings constructed before 1975 to be sprinklered or compartmented, and therefore, a fire in one of these buildings is far more likely to result in casualties and property damage than one in a sprinklered building. The Commission has discovered that the rate of fire deaths in Chicago’s high-rise buildings is approximately 3.5 times greater than the national average.

Time is critical factor when emergency like fire occurs. To rescue occupant in timely manner is most important task for fire services. The time segment between fire ignition and the start of fire suppression has a direct relationship to fire loss.  The delivery of emergency medical serviced is also time critical. In most cases sooner trained fire personnel or emergency medical rescue personnel arrive, the greater the chance for survival and conservation of property.

GIS can quickly analyze and display a route from path a station or GPS location to the emergency call.  This route may be shortest path or the quickest path depending on the time of the day and traffic pattern. This information can be displayed to the dispatcher and on s mobile computer screen in the response vehicle.  Response time from fire station to the location and rescue operation within the building is critical to save life of occupant and reduce damage to the buildings.

In conclusion,  technology such as GIS can be really helpful in emergencies.

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