Examining Fire Department Injury Data as a Tool for Epidemiological Investigation
Published Date:2015 Mar-Apr
Source:J Burn Care Res. 36(2):310-314.
Pubmed Central ID:PMC4229491
Funding:R01 HD059216/HD/NICHD NIH HHS/United States
R01HD059216/HD/NICHD NIH HHS/United States
R18CE001339/CE/NCIPC CDC HHS/United States
Residential fires, while constituting a small fraction of fire incidents, are responsible for the majority of civilian fire-related injuries. This study investigates census tract neighborhood socioeconomic factors as correlates of civilian injuries occurring during residential fires in Baltimore, Maryland between 2004 and 2007.
Civilian residential-fire related injuries were geocoded and linked to the American Community Survey 2005–2009 data. Negative binomial regression was used to analyze the relationship between fire-injury rates and neighborhood socioeconomic indicators including household income and percentages of households below the poverty line, persons 25 years or older with at least a bachelor’s degree, homes built in 1939 or earlier, vacant properties, and owner occupied homes.
Between January 2004 and July 2007, there were 482 civilian fire-related injuries that occurred during 309 fires. At the census tract level, a ten percent increase in the number of vacant homes was associated with an increase in injury rates by a factor of 1.28 (95% CI 1.05, 1.55). A ten percent increase in persons over 25 years with at least a bachelor’s degree was associated with a decrease in injury rates by a factor of 0.86 (95% CI 0.77, 0.96).
Neighborhood measures of education and housing age proved good indicators for identifying areas with a higher burden of fire-related injuries. Such analyses can be useful for fire department planning.
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