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Reducing the Risk of Fire in Buildings and Communities



Anthony Hamins, Jason D. Averill, Nelson P. Bryner, David Butry, Richard Gann, Rick D. Davis, Daniel M. Madrzykowski, Alexander Maranghides, Jiann C. Yang, Matthew Bundy, Samuel Manzello, Jeffrey W. Gilman, Francine K. Amon, William E. Mell


Fire costs and losses are a significant life safety and economic burden on society comprising about two percent of the United States gross domestic product. This paper presents the results of a roadmap developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in response to the U.S. fire problem and proposes ways to best reduce fire losses and costs in buildings and communities. In an effort to address the most pressing fire problems, attention is directed towards the burden of fire on communities, structures and their occupants, the fire service, and the economy in three key areas: Reducing fire risk in buildings, Advancing fire service technologies, and Reducing fire risk in wildland-urban interface (WUI) communities. The roadmap sets targets for new measurement capabilities that underpin innovation in fire-risk-reducing technologies and best practices. These advanced capabilities are required to overcome technical hurdles that stand in the way of nascent or current technologies with the potential to deliver a wide range of fire safety benefits. The roadmap stresses the measurement science needed to enable the most promising technologies that will reduce the preventable burden of fire in the three focus areas. The breadth of key technology issues ranges from reliable nuisance-free fire detection, improvements in the fire-safety design and construction of buildings and communities, to better firefighting equipment and tactics, to more effective approaches to preventing and responding to "wildland-urban interface" fires, which is a rapidly growing problem in the U.S. and many other countries. The roadmap sets short, medium and long-term goals for accomplishing the overall objective of reducing the U.S. fire burden and emphasizes the importance of science-based standards, regulatory codes, engineering tools, and best practices.
Conference Dates
May 5-10, 2013
Conference Location
Providence, RI, US
Conference Title
Seventh International Seminar on Fire & Explosion Hazards in Providence RI, May 5 -10, 2013


fire safety, roadmap, strategic planning


Hamins, A. , Averill, J. , Bryner, N. , Butry, D. , Gann, R. , Davis, R. , Madrzykowski, D. , Maranghides, A. , Yang, J. , Bundy, M. , Manzello, S. , Gilman, J. , Amon, F. and Mell, W. (2014), Reducing the Risk of Fire in Buildings and Communities, Seventh International Seminar on Fire & Explosion Hazards in Providence RI, May 5 -10, 2013, Providence, RI, US, [online], (Accessed May 24, 2024)


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Created December 31, 2013, Updated October 12, 2021