The New York City Fire Department wants to reduce the number and intensity of fires that ravage 3,000 of the city's one million buildings every year, and it's turned to data mining to help accomplish that goal.

City analysts will use a 60-factor algorithm to determine which structures are at a high risk of going up in flames by computing data related to fire-predicting characteristics. The algorithm considers factors such as how a old a building is, whether it has faced electrical issues, whether it has elevators, and whether it's located in a low-income neighborhood, and should accordingly help fire officials target at-risk buildings for inspection.

“Ultimately, we should see the number of fires go down...[a]nd fires should become less severe," predicts Jeff Roth, the Fire Department’s assistant commissioner for management initiatives.


[via Gizmodo]