The University of Sheffield
Management School

Management School News

Predicting behaviour to save lives: Research with South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue comes to fruition

Dr Dermot Breslin

How can South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue (SYFR) plan to maximise the effect of its fire prevention initiatives?

Research from the Management School, in collaboration with Coventry university, models community behaviour so SYFR can identify high-risk areas and intervene – reaching vulnerable communities and reducing incidents. This decision support tool, called Premonition, enables fire services to input scenarios – the mapping software then combines geographical, demographical and behavioural data to predict areas where there might be increased risk of fires and other emergencies.

This informs SYFR’s resource planning and means that fire prevention initiatives can be focused on the relevant areas, protecting the most vulnerable in our community.

Dermot Breslin from the Management School (pictured above) explained: “We live in increasingly complex social networks and our behaviours are influenced by many factors. This predictive model unpacks the complexity so SYFR, and potentially services in other areas, can manage their resources and services targeted at the most vulnerable groups in our community.

“We hope that over time this will lead to improved community behaviour and less emergencies.”

Hear from the Premonition team in this video:

Contact Dermot on


Comments are closed.