ST. PAUL (WJON News) - A new fire risk tool is being unveiled statewide to help fire departments work more efficiently.

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The Minnesota Department of Public Safety – State Fire Marshal Division has unveiled the Fire Risk Analysis Tool to map where fires happen and what caused them.

Cross Lake Fire Chief Chip Lohmiller says the tool helps pinpoint high-risk areas. The historical fire data can help a department make decisions on staffing levels, fire station locations, and how to target fire prevention efforts.

Photo by SVP Studios on Unsplash
Photo by SVP Studios on Unsplash
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Officials say smoking-related deaths are the number one cause of fire deaths statewide. This new tool can identify where people are smoking and what age groups are affected. In addition, the data can be used to:

  • Identify high-risk populations and communities to focus resources.
  • Adjust staffing levels based on the numbers and types of fires.
  • Identify neighborhoods that would benefit from fire prevention efforts.
  • Measure and track fire prevention programs.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety – State Fire Marshal Division started developing the software in 2017 after a record 68 people died in fires. That’s the highest number since 1995.

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