State officials want to use so-called “big data” to prevent fires in Minnesota and ultimately save lives.  Deputy State Fire Marshal Bob Reif says a new Fire Risk Analysis Tool examines historical data, demographics and trends, then predicts where fires are most likely to occur — down to even the neighborhood level.  Reif says fire departments can then target prevention efforts — for example:

“If we can pull these people together and do a little fire education, if could very well reduce the number of kitchen stovetop fires that we’re gonna see in this apartment complex.”

Reif says the computer-based tool empowers fire officials to save more lives by catering specific solutions to their individual communities.  If you think your community might be interested, contact the state Fire Marshal’s Office.