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The Use of Comaps to Explore the Spatial and Temporal Dynamics of Fire Incidents: A Case Study in South Wales, United Kingdom


  • *We would like to thank the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service for access to the data on which the article is based. In particular, we thank Andy Marles and Dave Bennett of the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service for their help and advice on various aspects of the data sets. The interpretations of the analysis, however, are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Service or any of its employees. The work uses 2001 Census and GIS boundary data obtained via MIMAS CASWEB and EDINA UKBORDERS; academic services both supported by ESRC and JISC. These data are copyright of the Crown and are reproduced with permission of the Controller of HMSO.


This article reports on the results from a spatiotemporal analysis of disaggregate fire incident data. The innovative analysis presented here focuses on the exploration of spatial and temporal patterns for four principal fire incident categories: property, vehicle, secondary fires, and malicious false alarms. This research extends previous work on spatial exploration of spatiotemporal patterns by demonstrating the benefits of comaps and kernel density estimation in examining temporal and spatiotemporal dynamics in calls for services. Results indicate that fire incidents are not static in either time or space and that spatiotemporal variation is related to incident type. The application of these techniques has the potential to inform policy decisions both from a reactive, resource-allocation perspective and from a more proactive perspective, such as through spatial targeting of preventive measures.