Archive

Archive for the ‘public safety’ Category

Residential Building Fires (2010–2012)

December 19, 2014 Comments off

Residential Building Fires (2010–2012) (PDF)
Source: U.S. Fire Administration

Residential fires are of great national importance, as they account for the vast majority of civilian casualties. National estimates for 2010-2012 show that 82 percent of all fire deaths and 78 percent of all fire injuries occurred in residential buildings. In addition, residential building fires accounted for over half (57 percent) of the total dollar loss from all fires.

Report findings:

  • An estimated 366,900 residential building fires were reported to fire departments within the United States each year and caused an estimated 2,465 deaths, 13,400 injuries and $7 billion in property loss.
  • Cooking, at 47 percent, was the leading reported cause of residential building fires.
  • Residential building fire incidence was higher in the cooler months, peaking in January at 11 percent.
  • Residential building fires occurred most frequently in the early evening hours, peaking during the dinner hours from 5 to 8 p.m.
  • The leading reported factor contributing to ignition category was misuse of material or product (38 percent).
About these ads

Exergy and the City: The Technology and Sociology of Power (Failure)

December 16, 2014 Comments off

Exergy and the City: The Technology and Sociology of Power (Failure)
Source: Journal of Urban Technology

Blackouts—the total loss of electrical power—serve as a reminder of how dependent the modern world and particularly urban areas have become on electricity and the appliances it powers. To understand them we consider the critical nature of electrical infrastructure. In order to provide general patterns from specific cases, a large number of blackouts have been analyzed. Irrespective of cause, they display similar effects. These include measurable economic losses and less easily quantified social costs. We discuss financial damage, food safety, crime, transport, and problems caused by diesel generators. This is more than just a record of past failures; blackouts are dress rehearsals for the future in which they will appear with greater frequency and severity. While energy cannot be destroyed, exergy—the available energy within a system—can be. Exergy is concerned with energy within an “environment;” in this case a city. The bottom line is simple: no matter how “smart” a city may be, it becomes “dumb” when the power goes out.

ASTHO Announces Release of 2014 National Health Security Preparedness Index™

December 15, 2014 Comments off

ASTHO Announces Release of 2014 National Health Security Preparedness Index™
Source: Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) and CDC

The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and more than 35 development partners, released today the 2014 National Health Security Preparedness Index™ (NHSPI™), which measures and advances the nation’s readiness to protect people during a health emergency or disaster. The 2014 Index includes updated data and new content, especially in the areas of healthcare delivery and environmental health.

The 2014 national result,7.4 on a scale of 10, suggests that substantial health security preparedness capability exists across the nation with progress to sustain and build upon. It also suggests significant work still needs to be done. As with 2013 findings, 2014 areas of relative strength include Countermeasure Management, Incident & Information Management, and Health Security Surveillance. Areas suggesting need for greater development include the new domain of Environmental & Occupational Health, and Healthcare Delivery (previously Surge Management) and Community Planning & Engagement.

Making Smart Decisions About Surveillance: A Guide for Communities

November 24, 2014 Comments off

Making Smart Decisions About Surveillance: A Guide for Communities
Source: American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California

In the wake of the revelations about the National Security Agency’s rampant warrantless spying and the use of military equipment in Ferguson, Missouri to quell protests, communities are increasingly focused on the need for greater transparency, oversight, and accountability of surveillance and local policing.

Leaders and residents want to know when and why surveillance is being considered, what it is intended to do, and what it will really cost — both in dollars and in individual rights — before taking any steps to seek funding or acquire or deploy surveillance technology. They also want to craft robust rules to ensure proper use, oversight, and accountability if surveillance is used.

This first-of-its-kind guide provides step-by-step assistance to help communities ask and answer the right questions about surveillance. It includes case studies highlighting smart approaches and missteps to avoid. Because each community and each type of surveillance may present a different set of issues, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Instead, this guide gives communities a flexible framework that policymakers, community members and law enforcement should use to properly evaluate a wide array of surveillance technologies and develop policies that provide transparency, oversight, and accountability. It also includes a Surveillance & Community Safety Ordinance that communities should adopt to ensure that the right process is followed every time.

UK — Dangerous dogs: tough new law to help prevent attacks

November 17, 2014 Comments off

Dangerous dogs: tough new law to help prevent attacks
Source: Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs; Home Office

Tough new legal powers to help prevent thousands of dog attacks every year will be given to police forces and local authorities from Monday 20 October.

For the first time, police and local authorities will be able to demand that owners take action to prevent a dog attack or risk fine of up to £20,000. If a complaint has been made about a dog to the council or police, its owners could be ordered to do any or all of the following:

  • Attend dog training classes
  • Muzzle the dog or require it to be on a lead in public
  • Require the dog to be microchipped and/or neutered
  • Repair fencing to prevent the dog leaving the property

Launched today, the Dealing with irresponsible dog ownership: practitioner’s manual will guide police forces and local authorities in the use of their new legal powers to prevent dog attacks.

Understanding Compassion Fatigue — Tips for Disaster Responders

November 10, 2014 Comments off

Understanding Compassion Fatigue — Tips for Disaster Responders
Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Explains the causes and signs of compassion fatigue, the burnout and secondary trauma a disaster response worker can experience. Offers self-care tips for coping with compassion fatigue and discusses compassion satisfaction as a protective tool.

See also:

Urban Computing: Concepts, Methodologies, and Applications

November 10, 2014 Comments off

Urban Computing: Concepts, Methodologies, and Applications
Source: Microsoft Research

Urbanization’s rapid progress has modernized many people’s lives, and also engendered big issues, such as traffic congestion, energy consumption, and pollution. Urban computing aims to tackle these issues by using the data that has been generated in cities, e.g., traffic flow, human mobility and geographical data. Urban computing connects urban sensing, data management, data analytics, and service providing into a recurrent process for an unobtrusive and continuous improvement of people’s lives, city operation systems, and the environment. Urban computing is an interdisciplinary field where computer sciences meet conventional city-related fields, like transportation, civil engineering, environment, economy, ecology, and sociology, in the context of urban spaces. This article first introduces the concept of urban computing, discussing its general framework and key challenges from the perspective of computer sciences. Secondly, we classify the applications of urban computing into seven categories, consisting of urban planning, transportation, the environment, energy, social, economy, and public safety & security, presenting representative scenarios in each category. Thirdly, we summarize the typical technologies that are needed in urban computing into four folds, which are about urban sensing, urban data management, knowledge fusion across heterogeneous data, and urban data visualization. Finally, we outlook the future of urban computing, suggesting a few research topics that are somehow missing in the community.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 990 other followers