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Reaching Those ‘Out-of-Reach’: An Explorative Case-Study of Fire Prevention in Vulnerable Urban Communities within Copenhagen.

Fransson, Aron LU (2021) VRSM01 20201
Risk Management and Safety Engineering (M.Sc.Eng.)
Abstract
Considering the nature of vulnerability to fires and at-risk groups, the issue is arguably a social problem where spatial analysis has allowed for a greater context, beyond the individual, to be analyzed. Furthermore, reports from fire rescue services of local safety concerns and the convergence of interest between different stakeholders has made communities disposition to fire safety increasingly relevant. Resulting in further recognition of for instance Community Risk Reduction (CRR). As such, the intention of this thesis was to examine relevant concerns and considerations for fire prevention as well as fire response in two urban vulnerable communities; Nørrebro and Tingbjerg-Husum, in Copenhagen. The main data collection is drawn from... (More)
Considering the nature of vulnerability to fires and at-risk groups, the issue is arguably a social problem where spatial analysis has allowed for a greater context, beyond the individual, to be analyzed. Furthermore, reports from fire rescue services of local safety concerns and the convergence of interest between different stakeholders has made communities disposition to fire safety increasingly relevant. Resulting in further recognition of for instance Community Risk Reduction (CRR). As such, the intention of this thesis was to examine relevant concerns and considerations for fire prevention as well as fire response in two urban vulnerable communities; Nørrebro and Tingbjerg-Husum, in Copenhagen. The main data collection is drawn from interviews with employees of the Greater Copenhagen Fire Department, and a few affiliates, which subsequently were thematically analyzed. A literature study was also conducted with the intention of examining the viability of incorporating risk and safety engineering principles into fire rescue services prevention strategies. Findings from the study highlight the relevance of cross-sector collaboration, trust management and community based participation for preventing fires alongside with the challenges of reaching at-risk groups as well as managing issues of safety and recognition in the studied communities. Informants tell also how conflicts perceivably occur less often and the rescue services are largely appreciated in these areas. The literature study provided tangible considerations for navigating efforts, though it overall suggested a significant need for more research into the particulars of managing vulnerability in urban communities. (Less)
Popular Abstract
Socio-economic differences in fire fatality is an increasingly relevant challenge for fire rescue services around the world. Drawing attention to new ways of fire prevention such as Community Risk Reduction (CRR) programmes and door-to-door campaigns for installing smoke detectors in vulnerable communities. Though a great deal of progress has been made, there is still a great demand for clarifying the role of involved stakeholders and develop more evidence-informed strategies. Furthermore, recent experiences of aggressions towards fire rescue services in vulnerable communities raises the issue of ensuring fire workers safety during their day to day work in these areas.
Therefore, this thesis was constructed as a case-study of two urban... (More)
Socio-economic differences in fire fatality is an increasingly relevant challenge for fire rescue services around the world. Drawing attention to new ways of fire prevention such as Community Risk Reduction (CRR) programmes and door-to-door campaigns for installing smoke detectors in vulnerable communities. Though a great deal of progress has been made, there is still a great demand for clarifying the role of involved stakeholders and develop more evidence-informed strategies. Furthermore, recent experiences of aggressions towards fire rescue services in vulnerable communities raises the issue of ensuring fire workers safety during their day to day work in these areas.
Therefore, this thesis was constructed as a case-study of two urban vulnerable communities in Copenhagen. After an initial literature study, the main data collection included 11 interviews with a range of different employees at the Greater Copenhagen Fire Department and a few affiliates. Additional literature helped set together a theoretical framework and helped analyze themes that arose from the conducted interviews.

The study in broad strokes reinforced the relevance of cross-sector collaboration, trust management and community based participation for fire prevention. It also highlighted the challenges of reaching at-risk groups and dealing with safety concerns in urban vulnerable communities. More specifically, the study unveiled that fire rescue workers believed that past conflicts were primarily rooted in their status as an authority. Beyond this, conflicts were seen as heavily dependent on the general ‘mood’ of the area at the time. For fire prevention, informants highlighted the challenge of reaching those who are socially isolated. If someone is unwilling to interact with fire rescue services or open their door to have an smoke detector installed, how are they to be reached? Involving local housing agencies, the social services or using common platforms, such as social media, where identified as some of the ways to try to overcome this.

Interestingly, many of the issues raised by informants could be examined in terms of risk communication practices, risk governance and trust. The literature study reinforced that diversity in the work force and local collaborations can be an informed strategy for improving relations as well as preventing fires. The responsibility of preventing fires, however, should not fall solely on the fire rescue services. As this study has highlighted, involving multiple stakeholders and setting a clear agenda can instead help fire rescue services to coordinate these efforts.

With our urban communities changing around the world and with a tangible divide in fire fatalities, this thesis urges more research on the risk-profile of vulnerable communities. However, this particular study can still be used by fire rescue services to understand urban vulnerable communities disposition to fires and how to address fire prevention using scientific principles of risk. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Fransson, Aron LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
En Explorativ Fallstudie av Brandförebyggande i Utsatta Områden inom Köpenhamn
course
VRSM01 20201
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Fire Prevention, Fire Rescue Services, Risk Communication, Fire Governance, Urban Vulnerable Communities, Community Risk Reduction
language
English
id
9036165
date added to LUP
2021-01-22 09:21:16
date last changed
2021-01-22 09:21:16
@misc{9036165,
  abstract     = {Considering the nature of vulnerability to fires and at-risk groups, the issue is arguably a social problem where spatial analysis has allowed for a greater context, beyond the individual, to be analyzed. Furthermore, reports from fire rescue services of local safety concerns and the convergence of interest between different stakeholders has made communities disposition to fire safety increasingly relevant. Resulting in further recognition of for instance Community Risk Reduction (CRR). As such, the intention of this thesis was to examine relevant concerns and considerations for fire prevention as well as fire response in two urban vulnerable communities; Nørrebro and Tingbjerg-Husum, in Copenhagen. The main data collection is drawn from interviews with employees of the Greater Copenhagen Fire Department, and a few affiliates, which subsequently were thematically analyzed. A literature study was also conducted with the intention of examining the viability of incorporating risk and safety engineering principles into fire rescue services prevention strategies. Findings from the study highlight the relevance of cross-sector collaboration, trust management and community based participation for preventing fires alongside with the challenges of reaching at-risk groups as well as managing issues of safety and recognition in the studied communities. Informants tell also how conflicts perceivably occur less often and the rescue services are largely appreciated in these areas. The literature study provided tangible considerations for navigating efforts, though it overall suggested a significant need for more research into the particulars of managing vulnerability in urban communities.},
  author       = {Fransson, Aron},
  keyword      = {Fire Prevention,Fire Rescue Services,Risk Communication,Fire Governance,Urban Vulnerable Communities,Community Risk Reduction},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Reaching Those ‘Out-of-Reach’: An Explorative Case-Study of Fire Prevention in Vulnerable Urban Communities within Copenhagen.},
  year         = {2021},
}