Today and Tomorrow’s Fire Data

Workshop Report: Today and Tomorrow's Fire Data (PDF, 6 MB)
Author: Fire Analysis and Research Division

On March 26, 27, 2014, in Gaithersburg, MD, NFPA’s Fire Analysis and Research Division, in cooperation with the National Institute of Standards and Technology, facilitated a workshop to bring together the research community and major fire organizations in the United States who are leaders in the collection and use of fire experience data. Its goal was to review how we currently gather, analyze and use fire loss data and explore how we might work together to make all those processes more effective.

The workshop began with a basic overview of the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) and the analysis methods used by USFA, NFPA and CPSC to develop national estimates of fire loss based on this data. The insurance industry and IAFC presented on other fire loss data collection activities, and a group of presentations on wildland urban interface data collection was made. Representatives of federal, state and local fire agencies then described how they use this data for decision making on resource allocation, program priorities, etc.

On the second day, several current research projects designed to enhance data collection were described, as well as NFPA standards development activity relevant to this activity. Next, a series of discussion sessions on data needs and gaps and enhanced data gathering were conducted. A final discussion session painted a picture of the future of fire loss data collection and analysis and outlined steps toward that vision. Following the workshop, participants identified their priorities for future activities designed to ensure a robust national fire data collection and analysis program that continues to meet the evolving needs of the fire community.

This Report is a summary of the workshop presentations and discussions. Appendix A consists of the participant list, agenda and presentations; Appendix B describes the detailed outcome of each of the discussion sessions on the second day of the workshop. Finally the report includes priority strategies identified by participants after the workshop.