Most civilian fire fatalities occur in residential buildings. This makes the prevention of house fires a specific part of the fire safety policy. This research focuses on three specific policy alternatives to increase the fire safety in houses:

A Community Safety project that focuses on risk areas. The name of this project is ‘Fireproof living’ and it focuses on several aspects of security awareness in risk groups such as residents of disadvantaged neighborhoods, the elderly and students. The SCBA focuses on one central element, namely influencing the safety awareness among residents in risk areas.

Investing in the fire safety of houses increases the welfare of Dutch citizens. The balance of social costs and benefits is up to € 40 million when the program ‘Fireproof living’ is implemented throughout the Netherlands. An incentive program for smoke detectors also has a positive balance. Mandatory residential sprinklers have a large negative balance of social costs and benefits.

A social cost-benefit analysis (SCBA) compares all impacts associated with governmental actions or policies. These are not just economic effects such as income and prices but also environmental or social goals that have no market price. Aim of the SCBA is to express these effects in terms of money so that all effects are comparable and a complete analysis of the effect of policies on the welfare of citizens and businesses in a broad sense is possible.