About the National Fire Incident Reporting System

The National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) is a reporting standard that fire departments use to uniformly report on the full range of their activities, from fire to Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to equipment involved in the response. NFIRS software is available as free desktop and web-based applications from the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) or as NFIRS standard-compliant products you can buy from fire software vendors.

Facts about NFIRS

Benefits of using NFIRS

How NFIRS works

After responding to an incident, a fire department completes the appropriate NFIRS modules. Each module collects a common set of information that describes the nature of the call, the actions firefighters took in response to the call, and the end results, including firefighter and civilian casualties and a property loss estimate.

The fire department forwards its data to the state agency responsible for NFIRS data. The agency gathers data from all participating departments in the state and reports the compiled data to USFA.

What’s recorded in the system

There are 11 modules in NFIRS. The Basic Module is the main module, which is completed for all incidents. The other modules are filled out as needed, to provide additional incident detail.

ModuleDescriptionNotable Features
BasicGeneral information for each incident.The address field is formatted to allow computerized queries and street-based address matching for GIS purposes.
FireUsed to report fire incident information.Multiple factors contributing to the cause of the fire may be reported. This allows identification of juvenile fire involvement in fires, and alcohol and cigarette interaction, as well as drugs and youth involvement by age categories.
Structure FireUsed to capture information on structure fires.Includes information about detection and automatic suppression systems, such as range, power supply, effectiveness, operational failure.
Civilian Fire CasualtyUsed to report fire-related civilian injuries or deaths.Describes what the person was doing when injured, factors contributing to injury, and the nature and cause of injury.
Fire Service CasualtyUsed whenever there is a fire service casualty.Captures information about health exposures to toxic substances and protective equipment problems.
Emergency Medical Services (EMS)Optional module used only if the fire department provides EMS.Data collected is incident-based, not patient-based.
Hazardous MaterialsOptional module used when hazardous materials resources are dispatched or releases or spills exceeding 55 gallons.Collects information on the geographic area affected by the spill, population evacuated, containers, and release amount.
Wildland FireOptional module to capture data about the number of acres burned, the type of materials involved, the conditions that contributed to the spread of the fires, and the resources needed to control or extinguish them.Collects information on factors that contributed to the fire’s extent, including the wildland fuel types and the weather conditions involved.
Apparatus or ResourcesOptional module to manage and track apparatus and resources used at an incident.Tracks what types and how many of each type of apparatus are used to successfully mitigate incidents. Useful for planning response to future incidents.
PersonnelOptional module to manage and track personnel and resources used at an incident.Information collected can be used for manning studies.
ArsonOptional module for intentionally-set fire information.Contains findings of the fire investigation which determines the cause of the fire. Also has a section for juvenile firesetters.

How can my fire department begin reporting NFIRS data?

To learn more about how your fire department can begin reporting its data through NFIRS, contact your state’s NFIRS program manager or the NFIRS Help Desk.