Chapter 16. 100 Years – 100 Cities: Evaluation of Urban Fire Risks


Peter Wagner and Sergei Sokolov
Center of Fire Statistics of CTIF, Berlin, Germany

Part of the book: The Challenges of Disaster Planning, Management, and Resilience


Over the centuries, cities became economic, scientific, administrative, and cultural centers of the countries. This process accelerated significantly in the 20th century. Life in the cities has become very pleasant for their inhabitants. Notwithstanding these manifold benefits of city life, the administrations of urban centers are increasingly confronted with problems: The streets of the cities are suffering from the ever-increasing mass of vehicles. Noise and air pollution are serious health problems for the inhabitants. Housing is scarce in urban centers. The cities grow in height and on the outskirts. The supply of drinking water is a problem in many places. Waste management is a significant organizational and technical challenge for the city administration. One of the most critical issues within the increasingly complex infrastructure of large cities is the safety and security factor. The purpose of the study is to take a closer look at the subject of fire safety. In the last century, cities have experienced a variety of revelations with the introduction of new building materials, new types of buildings, and new ways of using the facilities. As a result, many advances in fire prevention have been made. Nevertheless, the fire danger in the cities is not banished. The chapter uses striking examples to illustrate how urban fire risks have changed in the past. The study aims to use data-based developments in 100 cities worldwide. Next, we show what urbanization and industrialization mean from the point of view of fire safety. Finally, we describe possible solution scenarios for the future.

 Keywords: statistics, fire risks, urban fires, modeling, fire service


[1] [Accessed 2022-03-06 20:28].
[2] Cornell, James (1976), The Great International Disaster Book, Pocket Books, New York.
[3] Effenberger, Gustav (1913), Die Welt in Flammen. Eine Geschichte der großen und interessanten
Brände aller Jahrhunderte [The world on fire. A history of the great and interesting fires of all
centuries], Rechts-, Staats und Sozialwissenschaftlicher Verlag G.m.b.H., Hannover.
[4] [Accessed 2022-03-06 20:56].
[5] [Accessed 2022-03-06 21:16].
[6] [Accessed 2022-03-06 21:37].
[7] [Accessed 2022-03-06 22:13].
[8] [Accessed 2022-03-06 22:19].
[9] [Accessed 2022-03-06 23:21].
[10] Seoul Metropolitan Fire & Disaster Headquarters.
[11] [Accessed 2022-03-06 23:44].
[12] [Accessed 2022-03-06
[13] [Accessed 2022-03-07 00:01].
[14] building-fire-20-years [Accessed 2022-03-07 21:24].
[15] [Accessed 2022-03-07 21:38].
[16] Braidwood, James (1866), Fire Prevention and Fire Extinction, London, Bell and Daldy, 186, Fleet
[17] Conrad Dietrich Magirus (1877), Das Feuerlöschwesen in allen seinen Theilen nach seiner
geschichtlichen Entwicklung von den frühesten Zeiten bis zur Gegenwart [The fire-fighting system in
all its parts according to its historical development from the earliest times to the present], Ulm,
[18] Herrmann, Albert. Katastrophen, Naturgewalten und Menschenschicksale [Disasters, forces of nature
and human fate], G. Schönfeld’s Verlagsbuchhandlung Berlin W 62.
[19] Kernmayr Hans G., et.all (2000), Der goldene Helm – Werden, Wachsen und Wirken der Feuerwehren
[The golden helmet – becoming, growing and working of the fire brigades], 5th Edition, ISBN 3-609-
[20] The National Commission on Fire Prevention and Control (1973), America Burning.
[21] FEMA, America at Risk: America Burning Recommissioned, FA-223/June 2002.
[22] Pyne, S.J. (1997), World Fire: The Culture of Fire on Earth, University of Washington Press, ISBN 0-
[23] Bankoff, G., U. Lübken, J. Sand (2012), Flammable Cities: Urban Conflagration and the Making of
the Modern World, The University of Wisconsin Press (USA), ISBN 978-0-299-28384-1.
[24] C. Zwierlein (2011), Der Gezähmte Prometheus, Feuer und Sicherheit zwischen Früher Neuzeit und
Moderne [The Tamed Prometheus, Fire and Safety between Early Modern and Modern Times],
Vandebhoeck and Ruprecht GmbH and Co. KG., Göttingen, ISBN 978-3-525-31708-2.
[25] CTIF (2000), 100 Jahre CTIF 1900-2000, Halleiner Druckerei MAYR, Hallein, Austria.
[26] [Accessed 2022-03-08 19:12].
[27] Brushlinsky, S. Sokolov, P. Wagner (2010), Humanity and Fires, Fundacja Educacja I Technika
Ratownictwa N., EDURA, Poland, ISBN 978-83-88-77-29-5.
[28] Bruschlinsly, N., M. Nitschke, S. Sokolov, P. Wagner (1995), Feuerwehren in Millionenstädten,
Organisation, Probleme und Lösungen [Fire brigades in megacities, organization, problems and
solutions], Verlag W.W. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart Berlin Köln, ISBN 3-17-013704-2.
[29] Bruschlinsky, N., S. Sokolov, P. Wagner (2018), Modelling the Process of Fire and Rescue Activities
(chapter 7) in Michail Chalaris (editor-in-chief) et al.: Novel Approaches in Risks, Crisis and Disaster
Management, Nova Science Publishers Inc., New York, USA, ISBN: 978-1-53613-239-7.
[30] [Accessed 2022-03-08 20:49].
[31] [Accessed 2022-03-08 20:53].
[32] Pożarów, Czerwona Księga. Wybrane problemy pożarów oraz ich skutków [Selected problems of fires
and their effects]. Tom 2 (2016) ISBN: 978-83-61520-87-0.
[33] United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2016). The World’s
Cities in 2016: Data Booklet (ST/ESA/ SER.A/392).
[34] Frost, L. E., E. L. Jones (1989): The Fire Gap and the Greater Durability of Nineteenth Century Cities,
Planning Perspective, 4:3, 333-347, DOI: 10.1080/02665438908725687
n.jpg [Accessed 2022-04-08 16:08].
[Accessed 2022-04-08 16:09].
[Accessed 2022-04-08 16:10].
[Accessed 2022-04-08 16:10].
[39],_1871_(cropped).jpg [Accessed 2022-04-08 16:11].
[40] Https://En.Wikipedia.Org/Wiki/Cocoanut_Grove_Fire#/Media/File:Cocoanut_Grove_Night_Club_Fire.Jpg
[Accessed 2022-04-08 16:12].
[41] Radin, R.L., M. Mitzer (1977), Determinants of International Differences In Reported Fire Loss,
Georgia Institute of Technology.
[42] Department for Communities and Local Government. Comparison of European Fire Statistics (2012),
Final report for the Department for Communities and Local Government, Fire research report 1/2012,
Department for Communities and Local Government, Eland House Bressenden Place London, SW1E
5DU, 2011, ISBN: 978-1-4098- 3135-8
[44] Bruschlinsky, N., S. Sokolov, P. Wagner (2018): Fire Situation in Europe at the Beginning of the 21st
Century, Journal for Research, Technology, and Management in Fire Protection 1/2018 (pages 30-41),
publisher: vfdb – German Fire Protection Association
[45] Meacham, Brian J. et al. (2020), Developing a Global Standard for Fire Reporting, Royal Institution
of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), ISBN 978 1 78321 407 5.
[46] (2020-2022), EU FireStat: Closing Data Gaps and Paving the Way for
Pan-European Fire Safety Efforts.


Publish with Nova Science Publishers

We publish over 800 titles annually by leading researchers from around the world. Submit a Book Proposal Now!