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Association between spatial accessibility to fire protection services and unintentional residential fire injuries or deaths: a cross-sectional study in Dallas, Texas
  1. Soojin Min1,
  2. Dohyeong Kim2,
  3. Chang Kil Lee3
  1. 1 Division of General Pediatrics, Boston Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  2. 2 School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences, University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, Texas, USA
  3. 3 Department of Urban Policy and Administration, Incheon National University, Incheon, The Republic of Korea
  1. Correspondence to Dr. Chang Kil Lee; leechangkil{at}


Objectives In addition to neighbourhood characteristics encompassing racial composition, socioeconomic status and housing environments, it was unclear if location characteristics relating to the accessibility of fire protection services were risk factors for unintentional residential fire-related injuries in urban areas. This study was aimed to measure spatial accessibility to fire protection services at the census block group level, and examine whether it is associated with unintentional residential fire-related injuries.

Design A cross-sectional study.

Setting Unintentional residential fire incidents between 2012 and 2015 in Dallas City, Texas, USA.

Main outcome measures Using multiple logistic regression, the study analysed association between unintentional residential fire incidents in the city and risk factors, including spatial accessibility to fire protection services, measured by the two-step floating catchment area method.

Results Compared with incidents without any injuries, fire incidents involving injuries were significantly more likely to include unconfined fire, fire originating in a cooking area, a bedroom for less than five people or a common family area, census block groups with >75% African American residents, >25% elderly single-person households and positive population growth rates <25% or >25%. Incidents involving injuries were significantly less likely to occur in areas with high spatial accessibility, as measured by spatial accessibility score.

Conclusions In addition to fire characteristics and neighbourhood demographics, spatial accessibility to fire protection services was significantly associated with unintentional residential fire-related injuries. The findings can be used to help select locations of additional fire stations.

  • residential fire
  • fire injury
  • risk factor
  • spatial accessibility
  • fire protection service

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  • Contributors SM developed the research idea, obtained the data and conducted the data analyses. SM and DK refined the study design. DK and CKL supervised the study. SM wrote the majority of the manuscript and DK and CKL contributed to the method and discussion parts. All authors critically reviewed and approved the final manuscript.

  • Funding This work was supported by Incheon National University International Cooperative Research Grant in 2015.

  • Disclaimer The depiction of boundaries on the map(s) in this article do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of BMJ (or any member of its group) concerning the legal status of any country, territory, jurisdiction or area or of its authorities. The map(s) are provided without any warranty of any kind, either express or implied.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval This study used only publicly available data and it was granted by the Institutional Review Board at the University of Texas at Dallas (IRB 17-74).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement There is no additional unpublished data from the study.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

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