Public data release on CD or DVD
Each year the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) compiles publicly-released National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) incidents, collected by states during the previous calendar year, into a public data release (PDR) that we make available to you free of charge. Data available includes:
- CD 1980‑1998 – Fire incidents (NFIRS version 4.1)
- CD 1999‑2003 – All incidents
- CD 2004‑2019 – Fire and hazardous materials incidents
- DVD 2014‑2019 – All incidents
To order the PDR for a specific year(s), please contact Kathleen Carter.
About the PDR
- The PDR is a relational database of twenty tables tied together by a 2, 5 or 6 variable key. Tables are zipped and in text CSV format for data after 2012 and dBASE format for prior years.
- The data set contains more than 2 million incidents per year.
- Reference documentation, including “NFIRS 5.0 Fire Data Analysis Guidelines and Issues” and “NFIRS Complete Reference Guide,” is included.
- Spreadsheet software from productivity suites is generally not suitable for working with or analyzing the raw data.
- A database management system and expertise in SQL and/or other database programming language is necessary.
What you need to know about NFIRS before ordering
- NFIRS is the world’s largest, national, annual database of fire incident information. Fifty states and the District of Columbia report NFIRS data.
- NFIRS participation is not mandatory at the national level. Over 24,000 fire departments report in the NFIRS each year, including 38 fire departments with a population protected of over 500,000.
- NFIRS is not a complete census of reported fires in the U.S. The NFIRS database comprises 75 percent of all reported fires that annually occur.
Data analysis tools
Guidelines to use when analyzing NFIRS 5.0 data
National Fire Incident Reporting System Version 5.0 Fire Data Analysis Guidelines and Issues PDF discusses analytic considerations and methods of analyzing fire incident data using NFIRS Version 5.0. The topics include the NFIRS 5.0 data structure, general quality assurance issues, and definitions and parameters of common fire analyses (e.g., residential structure fires or fires by a specific cause).
Techniques for turning data into useful information
Collecting data is a legal requirement for documenting incidents; however, incident reports provide a more beneficial service to fire departments by providing insight into the nature of fires and injuries.
The Fire Data Analysis Handbook PDF describes statistical techniques to turn data into information that fire departments can use to gain insights into fire problems, improve resource allocation for preventing fires, and identify training needs. The techniques range from simple to complex. Described are how to:
- Develop charts to provide more effective presentations about fire problems.
- Compute simple statistics, such as means, medians and modes.
- Create tables and calculate different percentages from tables.
- Perform correlation, regression, loglinear analysis and queueing theory.
These are all techniques which can tell fire departments more about the nature of fires and injuries.
Information for analyzing NFIRS 4.1 historical data
The files below contain instructional information useful in the analysis of NFIRS 4.1 historical data. The USFA stopped accepting NFIRS 4.1 data on Jan. 1, 2010.