Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Fire Research Needs Workshop Proceedings, Emmitsburg, Maryland, October 20, 1999 (NISTIR 6539)



William D. Walton, Nelson P. Bryner, Nora H. Jason


As part of an ongoing effort to update and sharpen the National Fire Research Agenda, the U.S. Fire Administration in cooperation with the Building and Fire Research Laboratory, at the National Institute of Standards and Technology held two workshops to obtain input from the fire community. The first focused on the needs of the fire service and was held October 13-15,1999, in San Antonio, Texas. The proceedings of that workshop are contained in NISTIR 6538. The second workshop was held October 20, 1999, in Emmitsburg, Maryland and focused on the needs of the fire protection community beyond the fire service. Representatives of professional organizations, trade associations, and building code organizations were invited to present their research needs. The recommendations of the workshop participants have been separated into 5 categories: design, fire protection systems, fire models, fire service and general recommendations. The attendees identified 17 needs which the editors of this report have recorded. The mission of the United States Fire Administration (USFA) is to reduce life and economic losses due to fire and related emergencies, through leadership, advocacy, coordination with Federal agencies, and in partnership with fire protection and emergency services communities. Through Fire Administration leadership, a National Fire Research Agenda is developed with input from federal, state and local partners. Using this agenda, with a commitment to excellence, the USFA provides public education, training, technology, and data initiatives as follows: Public Education: Develops and delivers fire prevention and safety education programs in partnership with other Federal agencies the fire and emergency response community, the media, and safety interest groups. Training: Promotes the professional development of the fire and the emergency response community and its allied professionals. To supplement and support State and local fire service training programs, the National Fire Academy develops and delivers educational and training courses having a national focus. Technology: Works with public and private groups to promote and improve fire prevention and life safety through research, testing, and evaluation. Generates and distributes research and special studies on fire detection, suppression and notification systems, and on fire and emergency responder health and safety. Data: Assists state and local entities in collecting, analyzing and disseminating data on the occurrence, the control and the consequences of all types of fires. The National Fire Data Center, which administers the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS), describes the Nation's fire problem; proposes possible solutions and national priorities; monitors resulting programs; and provides information to the public and fire organizations. The Building and Fire Research Laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology conducts research related to the measurement and prediction of fire related phenomena and has a memorandum of understanding with the Fire Administration. The agreement calls for cooperation between the two agencies in the areas of planning, information exchange and technology transfer to improve fire safety.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 6539
Report Number


fire research, building codes, fire departments, fire models, fire protection engineering, technology transfer


Walton, W. , Bryner, N. and Jason, N. (2000), Fire Research Needs Workshop Proceedings, Emmitsburg, Maryland, October 20, 1999 (NISTIR 6539), NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed July 24, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created July 1, 2000, Updated November 10, 2018