NAHB Hopes to Improve Fire Reporting System

The National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM) wants NAHB to help improve a tool that both associations hope will better pinpoint how and why fires start and spread — and thus further reduce the number of annual home fire fatalities.

NAHB will be happy to help, Second Vice Chair Randy Noel and Construction, Codes and Standards Committee leaders told NASFM officials when they met in Washington earlier this week.

randy noel

Randy Noel (second from left) makes a point with the fire marshals.

The U.S. Fire Administration maintains the National Fire Incident Reporting System so fire departments and other first responders can submit reports. Participating fire departments report about 22 million incidents and 1 million fires every year, which officials estimate represent about 75% of all reported fires.

The data is valuable, but NAHB has long maintained that it could be better, especially when it comes to home fires. For example, fire departments currently aren’t required to include the age of the structure in which the fire took place. Age helps investigators determine the prevailing building code at time of construction, likely materials and a host of other valuable information.

In cases where the age of the home is known, the data overwhelmingly points to older homes, which are more likely to have outdated appliances and heating systems that can spark a fire.

Insurance companies also collect fire statistics, and including that additional information in the national database would also be helpful, Noel told the fire marshals. But unfortunately, that data is proprietary to those companies and cannot be included.

For additional information on home fires and building codes, contact Dan Buuck at 800-368-5242 x8366.

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *