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Urban fire and life safety

A large urban city is defined by a population of more than 250,000. While living in a city may not increase the risk of fire, demographic changes including the growing numbers of older adults, people with disabilities, immigrants and people living in poverty may impact fire safety in the city. Large urban city fire departments have particular challenges with limited resources, working in high-crime areas, leveraging relationships with city-wide institutions, reaching multicultural communities and getting residents to focus on fire safety.

Did you know?

  • intentional fire rates and arson fire rates are highest in large cities.
  • electrical equipment is a major cause of fire in older cities.
The five Es of Community Risk ReductionUrbanPaper

New! Urban Fire and Life Safety Task Force White Paper: Community Risk Reduction: Doing More with More (June 2016)
Fire service leaders face a number of challenges getting the job done — protecting and serving the public, keeping up staff morale, maintaining safety standards for the department and community, facing budget cutbacks — all as resources become more limited. At times the job can seem daunting. However, there is a tool available to help fire service leaders keep pace with a constantly changing social, environmental, economic, and political climate. "Community Risk Reduction" is defined as “programs, actions, and services used by a community, which prevent or mitigate the loss of life, property, and resources associated with life safety, fire, and other disasters within a community.” It’s the all-hazards solution to the all-hazards response that the modern fire service needs.

See all reports from NFPA's Urban Fire and Life Safety Task Force.

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