Reaching Those ‘Out-of-Reach’: An Explorative Case-Study of Fire Prevention in Vulnerable Urban Communities within Copenhagen.
Abstract: Considering the nature of vulnerability to fires and at-risk groups, the issue is arguably a social problem where spatial analysis has allowed for a greater context, beyond the individual, to be analyzed. Furthermore, reports from fire rescue services of local safety concerns and the convergence of interest between different stakeholders has made communities disposition to fire safety increasingly relevant. Resulting in further recognition of for instance Community Risk Reduction (CRR). As such, the intention of this thesis was to examine relevant concerns and considerations for fire prevention as well as fire response in two urban vulnerable communities; Nørrebro and Tingbjerg-Husum, in Copenhagen. The main data collection is drawn from interviews with employees of the Greater Copenhagen Fire Department, and a few affiliates, which subsequently were thematically analyzed. A literature study was also conducted with the intention of examining the viability of incorporating risk and safety engineering principles into fire rescue services prevention strategies. Findings from the study highlight the relevance of cross-sector collaboration, trust management and community based participation for preventing fires alongside with the challenges of reaching at-risk groups as well as managing issues of safety and recognition in the studied communities. Informants tell also how conflicts perceivably occur less often and the rescue services are largely appreciated in these areas. The literature study provided tangible considerations for navigating efforts, though it overall suggested a significant need for more research into the particulars of managing vulnerability in urban communities.
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