Fire is obviously dangerous, but can be more so in an urban setting. With homes and general population being denser, things can get out of control very quickly. The National Fire Protection Association has put together a guide specifically for urban fire safety. Here are the highlights from the five-point guide.
- Conduct a Community Analysis – get together with local authorities to assess the makeup of your community. For example, is there a high concentration of elderly or children in any given area? How will this affect evacuation in case of a large-scale fire? What kind of communication challenges are there within the urban setting? What are the risks of this specific community?
- Develop Partnerships in the Community – the local community should work hand in hand with local firefighters to create internal leadership, community partners, and a community planning team. Local firefighters and fire organizations cannot be there for educational purposes all the time, but they can train local community members to be able to give these presentations in their absence. This is particularly important in educating young children on the dangers of fire.
- Create a Strategy to Solve the Problem – recognize the areas where the local community is lacking in fire safety and education and work to resolve them as quickly as possible. For instance, how can you educate the local youth? What is the local evacuation plan?
- Implement the Strategy of the Community – now that you have a plan in place, it is time to implement, train, and educate the community.
- Evaluate the Numbers – the only way to truly know what is working and what is not is by tracking the progress and specific results. Plans are great, but they do not always work out as well when they are put in place as we initially anticipated. By tracking the results, the community will be able to see not only the progress made, but will also be able to identify problem areas that need to be re addressed with a fresh plan.