Holistic Individual Fire Preparedness in Informal Settlements, Bangladesh

Md Mostafizur Rahman*, Saadmaan Jubayer Khan, Kamrun Nahar Tanni, Mohammed Sadman Sakib, Masrur Abdul Quader, Ifta Alam Shobuj, Arman Uddin, Komal Raj Aryal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fire hazards have become increasingly widespread in urban settings. Despite numerous fatalities and injuries, there is a dearth of information in Bangladesh about public preparedness for fire hazards, particularly in informal settlements. This study aims to ascertain an individual’s holistic fire preparedness level in informal settlements of Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka. A total of 530 respondents participated in a face-to-face field survey. We have performed, where appropriate, Kruskal–Wallis or Mann–Whitney U tests, Spearman’s rank correlation, and ordinal logistic regression analysis. The study population reported frequent fires in their area (36%), while the majority (> 85%) did not participate in any fire preparedness program. While 71% had previously encountered a fire, only 15% were familiar with fire equipment. Approximately 25% of the study population was aware of fire safety protocols and an emergency evacuation plan in the event of a fire. Over 80% of the people lacked emergency supplies in the event of a fire, including cash, emergency equipment, food and water, and emergency supply kits. They also indicated poor technological integration. Many of them did not have emergency contact numbers (65%), their house did not have an emergency communication system (83%), and they were unaware of contacting fire brigades and local authorities during fires (58%). The field survey results indicate females are less prepared to respond to fires than males. Respondents’ location, the self-rating status of their current place’s safety against fire, and participation in fire occurrence-related preparedness activities were associated with holistic individual fire preparedness. Thus, authorities should examine these factors while determining how to strengthen fire preparedness. Fire preparedness campaigns and effective education are required to ensure the competence of holistic fire preparedness.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFire Technology
Early online date10 Nov 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Nov 2022


  • Bangladesh
  • Disaster preparedness
  • Fire safety
  • Informal settlements
  • Urban hazard


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