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DataKindDC: American Red Cross Smoke Detector Risk Map Project

DataKindDC is a volunteer group that takes on challenging data analytics projects to help organizations improve for the common good.

I've tried to make it to DataKindDC meetups before, but this is the first one that fit my schedule. I'm so glad I made it to this one! The panel described their project to create a fire alarm risk map across the USA. The team created five different models assessing the risk profile census tracts (areas within counties) creating a risk profile for each. It included 74,000+ tracks across the country

The models were created by the volunteers and include:

  • Identifying where a death via fire is more likely

  • Identifying where homes are less likely to have smoke detectors

  • Identifying likelihood of having a fire

The team worked on the project for about a year. It has been live for 4 months. All the feedback has been positive and it helps the local Red Cross units know where to focus their efforts. It is used by disaster program managers and specialists in chapters around the country. Take a look at the mapping here:

Outside the Red Cross people have also shown interest, including the White House where they have a focus area of public/private partnerships on climate change resilience.

It was inspiring hearing from the volunteers and their growth experiences in helping create this important new tool that saves lives!

Upcoming projects in the fall of 2016 include projects with Annie E. Casey Foundation and Catholic Charaties. I can't wait to see the results of these teams!

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