Temporal and geographic clustering of residential structure fires: A theoretical platform for targeted fire prevention

K. Wuschke, Joseph Clare, L. Garis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)


Environmental criminology theory has established that crime is non-random across time and space, instead clustering in specific, predictable ways. This has resulted in the development of theories that have helped generate a suite of highly effective, targeted crime prevention tools. Although access to high,quality
temporal and spatial fire event data has improved in recent decades, the nexus between spatial/temporal clustering, theory, and targeted fire prevention remains largely unexplored. To address this, the current paper compares the temporal and spatial distributions of residential structure fire and residential burglary within a North American city over a three year period. This analysis reveals (a) overlapping spatial clustering for these two incident types, and (b) distinct temporal patterns; all of which can be explained by the logic underpinning environmental criminology theory. The extrapolation of these findings to targeted fire prevention is discussed with respect to the opportunity this presents for the fire service.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-12
JournalFire Safety Journal
Issue numberNov 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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