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This project was produced as part of the University of Pennsylvania’s Master of Urban Spatial Analytics Spring 2019 Practicum (MUSA 801) taught by Ken Steif, Michael Fichman, and Matt Harris. We would like to thank the Philadelphia Fire Department for providing useful information and data.

This document is intended to enable others to replicate the methodology of a study of structural fires and hydrant inspections. We first introduce the context of this project, followed by the data, methodology, modeling, and guiding appendices. A table of contents is provided for easy navigation, along with select hyperlinks throughout the document.


1.1 Motivation

In November 2019, Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel announced that there were 32 deaths in 2019 alone due to fires in Philadelphia, and that this was the highest annually since 2014. Fires result in costly structural damage, and in the worst case, the loss of human life, thus a city must be prepared to fight fires, and this is contingent on working fire hydrants. At present, hydrants are inspected by the Philadelphia Fire Department (PFD) and maintained by the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD). Inspections are carried out based on engine locales by the local PFD engines in no particular order, and this results in an inefficiency of the firefighters’ time.