What Does “HIGH Risk” Mean?

What Risk Looks Like: Case Study at 14615 Eastwood

This property showcases almost every feature of a high risk property available in the data used: it is open to trespassing, vacant, and publicly owned. The interplay of all these factors (each factor is listed below the left image) produced a risk assessment score in the Pretty Robots model of 16.2%.

A fire risk assessment of 16.2%, as seen in the property below at left, does not mean there is a 16.2% the property will catch on fire — the model is not predictive, it is an assessment of risk. A 16.2% risk assessment means that the collection of features seen in this property put it at greater risk than a property with none of those features.

A catastrophic fire such as the one suffered at 14615 Eastwood on September 28th, 2015 (and surveyed by LOVELAND staff later) can exhaust the fuel for subsequent fires, but it’s of little benefit: In addition to the risk and cost incurred by the Detroit Fire Department in putting out the fire, the city will still need to spend thousands in demolition funds to remove the foundation of the collapsed structure.

Detroit Fire Risk Map

Zoom into the map and click on any colored parcel to see property-specific information and photography

The Site Control map above shows all of the Detroit houses assessed by Pretty Robots' model as high risk. High risk is defined by Pretty Robots as those properties with a risk level greater than 5% -- one standard deviation above the average residential property risk score and therefore considered a statistically significant risk level. Of the 168,773 residential properties analyzed for the model, 24,819 (~15%) had risk scores greater than 5%. (Note that this includes both occupied and vacant residential properties.)

Number of high risk properties by tier, citywide

Number of high risk properties by tier, citywide

There are several areas of the city where at-risk properties are clustered. Click the Focus Areas button in the map to see a dropdown list of high risk cluster areas. Click to zoom to, and explore, those areas.

The areas with the densest clustering of high risk properties are outlined and shaded below. These parts of Detroit are, historically, areas of high fire activity, thick with vacant, city-owned property, and frequent arson. Below is a slideshow with greater detail for each of the four areas outlined below.

High Risk Clustering

Areas of the city where at-risk properties are clustered.


Detail of High Risk areas