The spatio-temporal analysis of residential fires could allow decision makers to plan effective resource allocations in fire management according to fire clustering levels in space and time. In this study, we provide guidelines for the use of various methods in detecting the differences in clustering patterns of fire and non-fire (i.e., background residential) locations and how these patterns change over time. As a preliminary analysis step, various exploratory data analysis methods, such as, intensity plots (i.e., kernel density estimates) are used. Moreover, the use of Diggle's-function (a second order analysis technique) is proposed for detecting the clustering of residential fire locations (if any) and whether there is additional clustering (or regularity) in the locations of the fires compared to background residential pattern. A test for trend over time (in years, months, and weeks) of the fire location patterns are provided with a space-time interaction analysis by the spatio-temporal-function. Residential fire data from Cankaya Municipality of Ankara, Turkey is used as an illustrative example. The presented methodology is also applicable to residential fire data from similar urban settings. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.