Canadian Firefighter Magazine

StatsCan and CCFMFC create Canadian national fire incident database

By CFF Staff   

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Jan. 4 – The Canadian Council of Fire Marshals and Fire Commissioners (CCFMFC) and Statistics Canada (StatsCan), with participation from other key stakeholders, have established a project to form a national fire incident database (NFID) for Canada.

The NFID project address the development of a sustainable business model, technical specifications, data requirements, hosting platform, and data reporting requirements.

“The objective of NFID is to be a key resource for the fire service as a whole, fire safety planning, training, and prevention bodies, governments, and private industry by providing a comprehensive system of information, trending associated with fire, life safety systems, and human behaviour. The project aims to collect, aggregate, and disseminate municipal, provincial/territorial, First Nations and federal fire data. The ability to integrate other socio-demographic information will allow decision-makers to determine the best way forward for fire prevention,” said Brian Godlonton, fire commissioner for the province of British Columbia and chair for the NFID project in a news release.

Since the beginning of the COVID pandemic in 2020, there have been 354 fire-related deaths reported throughout Canada, representing a 22 per cent increase over nearly two years previous, reported the CCFMFC.. While there are some requirements for collection of fire statistics within Canada at provincial and territorial levels, not all incidents are captured, not all information pieces are reported, and there is no comprehensive, consistent, accessible, long-term, data platform to provide the necessary analytics to guide precision fire safety programming.

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“While every fire commissioner or fire marshal has an obligation to collect data for their respective province or territory, there is no national requirement identifying the amount or type of information kept, nor any consistent standard in place on ‘how’ to report that data,” said Derek Simmons, president of the CCFMFC, in a news release

A previous demonstration project that aggregated fire data academic studies determined a high correlation of applied fire prevention programming and community resilience. The collection and analysis of this data will provide key information for the development of public policy around risk reduction and mitigation in areas such as public education, firefighter health and safety, environmental impacts from fires, and changes to building/fire codes.

Anil Arora, chief statistician for Canada, said there are plans to release an analysis this spring.

The resulting information will serve a wide base of users and applications across the Canadian landscape and potentially beyond, allowing for evidence-based decision-making, strategic direction-setting, and collaboration in the continued development of ever-evolving fire safety standards, service level requirements, building codes, training curriculums, fire service funding, budgeting, insurance models and premiums, etc.

The Canadian Public Safety Operations Organization (CanOps) has been requested to lead the project coordination on behalf of the CCFMFC.


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