Download eBook for Free

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.6 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

An analysis of New York City fire alarm distribution, a description of some analytical methods, and an example of an application of estimated alarm incidence rates. Data show steady exponential increases in nonstructural fires, excluding brush fires. Using a Poisson distribution, the authors describe a method for short-term prediction of incidence rates for various types of fire alarms as a function of location, time, method of reporting, and weather. Predicted incidence applications are as varied as long-term problems of new station-house location, selection of relocation and prepositioning strategies, and actual dispatching of units to incoming alarms. The example addresses the problem: Given the location and number of units to be dispatched, which should be assigned to a particular alarm? Results include (1) formulas for unit workload and average response time to all incidents as a function of response districts; (2) determination of a district boundary that minimizes average response time; and (3) conditions wherein the equidistant boundary is dominated by others.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.