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NFIRS Notice of Specification Enforcement

To improve data quality and consistency, we will enforce several 2015 specification cycle rules previously not enforced by the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) validation process. Enforcement will begin with the October 2020 release of the U.S. Fire Administration's NFIRS applications.

Important points

There are no specification or documentation changes for the upcoming NFIRS 5.0 specification cycle.
We will enforce the relational edits listed below to improve data quality and consistency.
Critical errors and invalid status incidents will occur upon import to the NFIRS national database if the items described below are not addressed by October 2020.

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Relational edits

Failure to follow the specification for the following relational edits will result in a critical error and an invalid incident status.

EditModuleBlockFieldRelational edit
#30BasicFAction TakenCannot be duplicate, except for blanks.
#35BasicH1Civilian Fire CasualtyIf Incident Type > 100 series then Civilian Casualty Form is not available (allowed).
#59FireE3Human FactorsIf Age Was Factor is checked then age must be greater than zero (0), and gender must be present.
#64FireH1Mobile Prop InvolvedIf None is checked, then no data entry is allowed.
#74Structure FireL1Presence of DetectorIf Presence of Detectors is YES, then L2, L3, and L4 are required. If Presence of Detectors is left blank, then L2, L3 and L4 are not available (allowed).
#75Structure FireL4Detector OperationIf Detector Operation = 2, THEN L5 is required. If Detector Operation not = 2, THEN L5 Detector Effectiveness entry is not allowed.
#76Structure FireL4Detector OperationIf Detector Operation = 3, THEN L6 is required. If Detector Operation = 2, THEN L6 Detector Failure Reason is not allowed.
#79Structure FireM1Presence of Automatic Extinguishment Systems (AES)If not present (code not = 1 or 2), then M2, M3, M4 and M5 are not available.
#81Structure FireM5AES FailureIf M3 = 1, then M5 is not available (allowed).
#105HazmatHHazmat Action TakenActions Taken 1, 2 or 3 cannot be duplicates.
#122EMSH1Body Site and Injury TypeEach Body Site must have an Injury Type. Body Site may be repeated up to five times. Injury Type may be repeated; however, the Body Site and Injury Type combination may not be repeated.
#123EMSIProcedures UsedAt least one procedure must be selected, but they are not mutually exclusive; except no treatment.
#151ArsonM2AgeIf subject Age is greater than 17, then Arson Module blocks M1 through M8 (except for M2) are not allowed.

Software-related items to verify

  • Users must be able to upload fire department information data files separately from incident data files when importing data into the national database.
  • Conversion-only codes for 4.1 data are not allowed. Using them will result in an invalid status for the incident.


  • The NFIRS 5.0 specification expected length for Incident Number is 7 maximum digits in numeric format.
  • Negative values are not allowed in the Basic Module Section G2 Loss fields (Property Loss, Contents Loss, Property Value, Contents Value) or the H1 Casualty fields.
  • Per Incident Type/Module Rule #6, if aid is given (codes 3 or 4), then only the information on the Basic Module through block G1 (Resources) must be completed by the department giving aid. If the department giving aid had a fire service casualty, then the department must also complete the Fire Service Casualty Module. The remainder of the Basic Module and any other modules associated with the incident may be optionally completed but are not required. The department receiving aid is responsible for completing all the required modules for the incident.
  • When the incident's Aid Type is code 3 and 4 (Automatic Aid Given or Mutual Aid Given), the Assisted FDID and the Assisted FDID's incident number should create warning error messages if left blank; they should not create critical error messages.