In the latest in a series of data journalism projects, the Advertiser has mapped fires in Croydon over a period of more than three years. The interactive graphics, which can be viewed below, chart all 4,766 of the non-domestic fires between January 2009 and September 2012. They were created from thousands of lines of data detailing London Fire Brigade's incident reports, which can be found at the London Datastore website. The incidents have been pinpointed on a map of the borough using longitude and latitude calculated through the postcodes listed with each incident. It shows non-domestic fires only because the exact location of house fires, for example, is withheld from the official record of the call outs. Including the broader postcode would have rendered the maps far more difficult to read. It otherwise gives a comprehensive picture, for the first time, of fire brigade activity in Croydon over nearly four years. The spreadsheets describe each incident in a fair amount of detail, including the time of the call, how many engines were sent and the type of property affected. The data shows that car and refuse fires were by far the most common types of non-domestic fires. The interactive maps show clearly where these fires happen. Firefighters were called to tackle fires in Fieldway ward 402 times, more than any other area of Croydon, though there were 401 call outs to Broad Green. In contrast there were as few as 84 call outs to Selsdon and Ballards and 97 to Shirley. As well as actual fires the Advertiser has mapped the location of malicious call outs, with a large number in the town centre, Addiscombe and New Addington. One of the sheets focuses specifically on that estate, showing the wide variety of non-domestic fires to have occurred there during the period. The data also shows at what time of the day fires are more likely to occur, with the fire brigade at its busiest around 7pm. Incidents listed as false alarms have not been included. To view the original data visit http://data.london.gov.uk/datastore/package/london-fire-brigade-incident-records. This is the second data-driven project by the Advertiser in recent months. In June we created an interactive graphic to show how the council spent its money in the 2012/13 financial year.
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