Ministry of the
Solicitor General

OFM - 04-56-12

Use of Fire Related Statistics

Public Fire Safety Guidelines

Subject Coding

PFSG 04-56-12


Fire Prevention and Public Education


August 1998


Use of Fire Related Statistics


Under Review


To provide guidance in the effective compilation, analysis and use of statistics when planning fire prevention and public education services.


  • Good planning in the management of fire prevention and public education services requires the collection, analysis, and use of statistics.
  • It provides a basis for the systematic identification and management of current and future fire and life safety risks under the jurisdiction of the fire department.
  • Fire departments should take the following steps to ensure proper needs analysis:
  1. Identify the nature and extent of risks.
  2. Establish service levels.
  3. Identify the most effective use of resources to obtain the desired service level.
  4. Implement a management evaluation system to review those desired levels of service.

Policy Issues:

Decisions on the levels of fire protection services to be delivered and the related activities must be made with as much information as possible. The collection and analysis of data for your community is essential to establish appropriate policies for the delivery of fire protection services.

Fire Service Planning Guidelines

Collecting and Analyzing Data:

  • In the planning process, one of the integral procedures is to collect and analyze data that can be developed to identify current and future fire protection or risks within a community.
  • Fire departments must collect and analyze data effectively to determine fire and life safety risks and other emergency problems.
  • Fire departments are experiencing escalating demands in both fire protection and fire prevention services.
  • At the same time, the resources to provide these services are diminishing.

Schematic diagram of steps involved in establishing fire service planning guidelines. Step one is recognizing the problem. Step two is defining the problem. Step three is defining the solution. Step 4 is solving the problem. Step five is measuring the results. All steps require the collection and analysis of statistics.

  • Data that impacts fire prevention and public education may include:
  • building and occupancy data
  • demographic data
  • financial data
  • geographic and physical data
  • legislative and legal data
  • organizational and functional data

Building and Occupancy Data:

  • It is important to gather data regarding occupancy, age and location of buildings.
  • Other information gathered should include building height and area, as well as requirements for sprinklers and/or fire alarms systems.
  • It is important to measure fire loads, types and density of buildings to determine fire and life safety needs of the community.

Demographic Data:

  • Collecting demographic data from various studies will reflect how factors such as age and socio-economic background can be correlated to incident occurrences and fire loss.

Financial Data:

  • Fire department operating and capital expenditures over the past five years should be considered in the assessment of current expenditure levels and projected costs.
  • Expenditures of other municipal departments should be considered.
  • Examples of financial data related to the provision of fire protection services within the community are:
  • Operating budgets - expenditures related to

providing fire protection such as salaries,

training, equipment and supplies.

  • Capital budgets - one time purchase items

related to fire protection such as buildings and


Geographic and Physical Data:

  • Geographic and physical factors influence fire protection. Station location, response time, transportation networks, water systems, terrain and weather should be considered.
  • Natural factors such as wildland fire potential, earthquakes, tornadoes and floods also need to be considered.

Legislative and Legal Data:

  • Many legislative and legal decisions affect the provision of fire protection in a community.
  • Data should include information from local, provincial, and federal levels of government.

Organizational and Functional Data:

Data is collected to assess the allocation of current and future resources within a fire department and should include the following:

  • Fire Suppression
  • numbers, types of incidents and fire loss over past five years
  • deaths and injuries over past five years
  • communication and incident command system capabilities
  • mutual and automatic aid agreements
  • resource commitment to incidents (personnel, equipment)
  • response time and distances

Pre-Fire Planning

  • collecting information at a selected site significantly affects emergency operations


  • numbers and types of fire investigations
  • standard incident reporting system

Fire Prevention

  • occupancies inspected
  • fire hazards noted and corrected
  • prosecutions

Fire Safety Education

  • programs conducted and effectiveness achieved
  • people contacted and informed

Non-Fire Incidents

  • emergency medical services
  • hazardous materials control
  • public assistance

Training Data

  • training programs implemented
  • requirements for promotion, employment and career development

Facilities Inventory

  • station location, size, age and the projected changes

Apparatus and Equipment

  • vehicle inventory including capacity, age, operating condition, maintenance program and projected changes

Management Information System:

  • Data collection requires that fire officers, investigators and others who will collect and input data into the management information system (MIS) be trained.
  • Computers and software are an integral component of effective management information systems.

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
02-02-12 & 03 Fire Risk Assessment
02-03-01 Economic Circumstances
04-12-13 Core Services
04-39-12 Fire Prevention Effectiveness Model
04-40-12 & 03 Selection of Appropriate Fire Prevention Programs
04-45-12 Fire Prevention Policy
04-50-12 Fire Safety Inspection Practices