This site provides tools for exploring the impact of closing different fire stations in London, based on open data. Working with Open Data Institute partner, Telefónica Dynamic Insights, has enabled us to develop a tool that also takes account of numbers of people affected by the changes.

The tools available on this site show the pattern of effects, based on two parameters:

  • Fire service attendance times to incidents, from the London Fire Brigade (LFB) data, available at
  • Data relating to mobile phone activity in particular parts of London across the day, estimating the number of people present in the area, and likely to be affected at those times (crowd data)

Using just two open datasets, the maps generated by the researchers show the potential effects of shutting the 10 fire stations earmarked for closure and you can explore the results for yourself below.

Our maps allow you to analyse the potential effects at borough level of closing fire stations in London. The effects can be viewed by potential change in incident attendance time, or as a score which also takes into account the actual footfall of people in that borough. You can close stations by clicking on the station icons or use the shortcut at the top of the page to close the 10 firestations proposed for closure.

Greater detail is available via the full tool available on the explore page.

The work is significant because:

  • Using the crowd data meant that the ODI could measure the impact of the closures in light of the number of people potentially affected, including the transient as well as the fixed population.
  • The researchers could then “rate” London boroughs that might have similar incident attendance times but very different populations.
  • With only two open data sets, the researchers were able to produce meaningful results. They conclude that the effect would be even more meaningful with the addition of data including the quality and age of the equipment used and the capacity of the fire stations, which are not currently available as open data.