Ministry of the
Solicitor General

OFM - 02-02-03

Fire Risk Assessment

Public Fire Safety Guidelines

Subject Coding

PFSG 02-02-03




January 1998


Fire Risk Assessment


Under Review


To identify considerations for persons conducting municipal fire risk assessments.

Ambient Factors of Risk Assessment:

The following factors should be considered in assessing the local fire risk.

  • the municipality: 
  • urban
  • rural
  • metropolitan
  • other, such as a bedroom community, border community
  • predominantly dependent upon a single employer, business, or institutional operation or activity
  • describe its uniqueness
  • describe its geography
  • describe its demographics
    outline current development and development trends
  • describe street network and traffic patterns
  • describe traffic barriers
  • consider applicable by-laws
  • labour relations climate and history
  • historical
  • indicate emergency call volume last year, last 5 years
  • the number of fire casualties in the past year, past 5 years
  • identify any trends respecting cause and location
  • the fire loss for the past year, past 5 years
  • indicate trends respecting call types for the past 5 years
  • comparisons with other like municipalities should be considered for the following factors:
  • population (static/subject to seasonal or other fluctuations)
  • geographical area and size of municipality
  • type of municipality
  • number of residential dwellings
  • assessment
  • development trends
  • growth history and trends
  • demographics
  • equalized assessment and tax base
  • residential/farming vs industrial/commercial assessment
  • building stock
  • identify, as accurately as possible, the number and percentage of the following: 
  • single family residences
  • multi-unit residences
  • high-rise buildings
  • large complexes
  • farms/agricultural buildings
  • commercial buildings
  • industrial buildings
  • institutional
  • business buildings
  • storage facilities
  • other special buildings
  • hospitals
  • nursing homes
  • with respect to building type, identify specific problems, such as access, density and age
  • with respect to building type, identify significant and associated outside storage areas
  • building occupancies
  • identify, as accurately as possible, the number and percentage of the following occupancies:
  • assembly
  • institutional
  • residential
  • commercial
  • industrial
  • business
  • storage
  • vacant
  • other
  • prevention and public education
  • if, for example, the municipality does not have a fire department, but purchases fire suppression services, describe what fire prevention and public education initiatives, if any, are undertaken by the community. Describe the significance and impact, or lack of same, of such initiatives.
  • public and political resolve
  • what is the perceived awareness of fire safety by the general public and the corporate sector?
  • what are the expectations for fire protection by the general public, and the corporate sector?
  • what is the general tone of press and media coverage of fire related matters?
  • how are fire prevention, fire safety, and public education programs generally received and accepted by the community at large?
  • what is the local political climate respecting:
  • cost cutting/no budget increases?
  • preserving the status quo?
  • maintaining/improving essential services such as the fire department?
  • public and private protection systems
  • independent of the assessment of (Analyzing Local Circumstances - Assessing Existing Fire Protection Services), identify and describe:
  • private fire brigades
  • industrial/commercial fire brigades
  • private water supplies and water supply systems


Related Functions:

Click on the related function below to view that function:

  • Economic Circumstances
  • Capabilities of Existing Fire Protection Services

Codes, Standards, and Best Practices:

Codes, Standards, and Best Practices resources available to assist in establishing local policy on this assessment are listed below. All are available at Please feel free to copy and distribute this document. We ask that the document not be altered in any way, that the Office of the Fire Marshal be credited and that the documents be used for non-commercial purposes only.

See also PFSG

Comprehensive Fire Safety Effectiveness Model Considerations
& 23 Capabilities of Existing Fire Protection Services
Fire Prevention Effectiveness Model