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14 Aug 2022

"100 Cities – 100 Years - Evaluation Of Urban Fire Risks". Participate in CTIF´s research project


The Center of Fire Statistics of CTIF is working on an international book project called "100 Cities – 100 Years - Evaluation Of Urban Fire Risks". We invite major cities and the related fire brigades to participate.

Please download supporting documents below.

This article is an updated version of an earlier post about this project, originally published in 2020. 


Over the centuries, cities became economic, scientific, administrative and cultural centers of the countries. This process accelerated especially 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 the result. Housing is scarce in the centers. They cities grow in height and on the outskirts. The supply of drinking water is a problem in many places. Waste management is a major organizational and technical challenge for the city administration. One of the most important issues within the increasingly complex infrastructure of large cities is the safety and security factor. It is no coincidence that the municipalities have set up special services that deal with these problems: police, fire brigade, emergency services, disaster services for the gas, electricity, gas supply and communication networks (telephone, Internet). Purpose of the book 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 buildings. Many advances in fire prevention have been made. Nevertheless, the fire danger in the cities is not banished.

Center of Fire Statistics (CTIF)


General Description of the Project

The CFS CTIF (Center of Fire Statistics of CTIF) works since 1995 on the creation of the World Fire Statistics. In the first year, report number 1 appeared with the statistical data from 17 countries of the Earth. Today in 2018, we have released the report number 23. Statistical information on activity in almost 40 countries presented. The reports also contain information on the fire situation in major cities around the World. In summary, the CFS CTIF has collected data from more than 70 countries or large cities.

Now it is time to recompile all collected information and to pass it on to the world public for the sake of complaisant knowledge. From our point of view, the best way is an international book publication. The topic is the development of fire risks in the cities in the period 1900-2018. We do not want to accomplish this work alone as a statistics team of the CTIF. We think it is better to carry out this work together with experts from local fire departments in the large cities of the World. The draft concept for the English-language publication is to read below this letter.

We believe that besides the fire departments in the major cities of the World, the national and international associations, universities, and research institutes are also interested in this publication. Indeed, the common Fire and Safety Industry will be interested too.

We at this moment suggest the cooperation for this project. We kindly ask you to nominate an expert employee from your department or city who will be available to us as a contact person. The forms of cooperation can be as follows:

  1. The City Fire Department appoints an expert co-author.
  2. The City Fire Department appoints an expert to provide us with the necessary statistical data (CFS CTIF, then writes the book chapter).
  3. The fire brigade recommends us other contacts and sources (persons, links to website, libraries, historical archive, etc.) and does not participate in the project. 

Of course, we wish each city to agree to first.

We intend to publish the book as an e-book as well as a hard copy. Currently, we expect it to published by major international publishers. Any other recommendation is welcome.

Now something to the term "Fire Department in a large city." With this letter, we wrote to the Fire Departments on every continent in the World. Theoretically, we expect to achieve cooperation with not less than ten fire departments per continent.

We are sure: every city has an exciting story to tell, and the fire brigades were always up to date! 

What do we expect from every city (local fire department):

  • Every fire brigade describes the history of its city on a maximum of two DIN A4 pages. The city should provide concise facts.
  • Furthermore, every fire brigade represents the history of organized firefighting: the fire department's founding, motorization, remarkable technical developments, etc. The scope should not exceed two pages.
  • Then a table is to be created: Notable fires (maximum one page).
  • Then we will send a template: year, the number of fires, specific details of victims, etc. In a template, we carry a table to fill in: Fire data. Of course, older data is also welcome. For example, the Berlin Fire Brigade (Germany) provides us with complete data from 1851 (the founding year) until today.
  • All of this local city information transferred to chapter 3 for summarizing.
  • We do not want to include photos, maps, or other illustrations in the book at any price. There may be copyright issues. However, if suggestions for pictures come from the cities, we are open to discussion.


If we look back a little more than 100 years, we recognize that just in the 20th century, professional fire brigades founded in most major cities due to the increasing fire risks. Many cities cover fire safety with volunteer fire brigades. Some cities develop a hybrid system – volunteers and professional fire brigades. There are so many practical solutions to tame the problem of fire hazards. Historical experiences, cultural backgrounds, and other circumstances have led to a diverse landscape of extinguishing institutions today. There are so many practical solutions to tame the problem of fire hazards. Historical experiences, cultural backgrounds, and other circumstances have led to today's very diverse landscape of firefighting institutions. No matter how big or small the organizational differences are, all these systems have one thing in common: saving lives, protecting assets, and protecting the environment from the consequences of fires. To put it bluntly, the growing complexity of urban infrastructure is never why firefighters lose their lives during firefighting! It is essential to sensitize the attention to the dangers of cancer risk of firefighters through fire.

The book shows how the fire risks developed in the period from 1900 to the present. For this purpose, the data from 100 large cities compiled and analyzed. The first time in history that 100 cities, represented by their professional fire brigades, are jointly considering the problem of fire risks. Methodologically, the book project relies on the definitions developed by the Center of Fire Statistics of CTIF. This method has been used since 1995 and has proven itself many times over because of its simplicity and universality.

Since each city brings its data on the fire risks for comparison in the project and presents the history of the town and its fire department, the book moreover fulfills other functions. The aim is to support and promote friendly relations between the cities and their brave firefighters because we all live in a shared world.

One hundred cities from the whole World invited. Each city gets the opportunity to process the data within the next 2-3 months and then send us. The Center for Fire Statistics of CTIF processes the data and compiles the results into uniformly structured tables. We send these tables to all participating fire brigades. These asked to check and correct if necessary. Questions are always welcome, and will answer. This process will last about 3-4 months.

Then the text about the history of the city or the fire department incorporated into the project. Then the proofreading and the linguistic adaptation of the book chapters take place. Then we send the jointly developed questionnaires to all cities. The results incorporated into the project in 1-2 months. Finally, we ask some cities or organizations to write forewords. All in all, all work should completed after two years.

Purely computationally results in a processing time of 1 week per city: 104 weeks / 100 cities = one week. Some cities will be able to provide the data very quickly. Other cities certainly need more time. Since many processes run parallel, the total duration of the project of 2 years seems realistic to us.

The whole project is new; there are no comparable experiences. But we believe that the amount of work for each city is manageable. We are happy to learn something about your position on this. We always remain optimistic! 


Contact person:

Ltn. Col. Dr. Peter Wagner

Center of Fire Statistics of CTIF

Berlin Fire Brigade