Development of an Environmental and Economic Assessment Tool (Enveco Tool) for Fire Events

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Fire Protection Research Foundation report: "Development of an Environmental and Economic Assessment Tool (Enveco Tool) for Fire Events" (PDF, 3 MB)
Author: Francine Amon, Jonatan Gehandler, and Selim Stahl, SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden; Mai Tomida and Brian Meacham Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Date of issue: May 2016

Introduction

In broad terms, the impact of fire on a community is usually measured in terms of the number of fires, human casualties, and property damage. There are, however, more subtle impacts of fire that are not so easily estimated but contribute to the measure of overall performance of the fire service in protecting a community. A simple method of estimating two of these issues: environmental impact and economic impact is proposed to help fire departments communicate the value of their services to the communities they protect. 

While environmental and economic impact assessment methodologies exist as separate systems, they generally require a high level of knowledge that is outside the scope of most fire departments. A relatively simple methodology for estimating the environmental and economic impact of fires will help communities understand the degree to which fire department activities can benefit a community’s environmental and economic well-being. 

The Foundation undertook this study to investigate the feasibility of developing a tool that enables fire departments to estimate the value of their services to a community in terms of environmental and financial impact. This report provides a summary of this effort, which resulted in development of a prototype tool for fire department use.

This report provides a summary of this effort, which resulted in development of a prototype tool for fire departments that uses warehouses as a case study. If there is enough interest, this work may be expanded to other applications.