The Impact of Weather on Residential Fires in Sweden: A Regression Analysis
Abstract: The purpose of this report is to investigate possible relationships between the number of residential fires in Sweden and various weather parameters. The study is conducted based on a hypothesis as stated by the MSB, the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency, that behavioral factors related to weather can have an influence on the number of residential fires. Generalized linear models within the regression analysis have been used and specifically Poisson and negative binomial regression. The aim was to map the possible connection and determine if it was possible to use the analysis as a tool to improve the emergency services in Sweden. Temperature, short term differences in temperature and precipitation were analyzed with residential fires as the dependent variable, which resulted in a model for each municipality in Sweden. The relationships between the weather parameters and residential fires, seen throughout Sweden, proved to be weak to non-existent with one exception. The average temperature variable was significant in 117 out of 290 municipalities and indicated a relationship where the expected number of residential fires decreases at temperature increases. Due to the weak relationships, the model is not recommended as a prognostic tool on a national level. However, individual models could be used as a supplement to current prognostic tools at a local level and used for preventive purposes. Thus, the study has concluded that weather has some impact on the expected number of residential fires and thus has the potential to be used as a tool when forecasting residential fires. As an addition to the regression analysis, an organizational analysis of the emergency services in Sweden is carried out. The analysis sought the optimal structure based on the emergency services conditions and requirements, which were defined on the basis of organizational concepts and methods. The result was a more structured operation and organization where methods and processes are managed at a centralized level.
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