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Research Roadmap for Smart Fire Fighting



Anthony P. Hamins, casey grant, Nelson P. Bryner, Albert W. Jones, Galen H. Koepke


In 2013, fire departments in the United States responded to more than 480,000 structure fires. These fires resulted in approximately 2850 civilian fatalities, 14,000 injuries, and estimated property losses of $10 billion dollars. More than 30,000 fire fighters were injured on the fireground. These losses can be significantly reduced by exploiting new opportunities in technology development, including cyber-physical systems through the fusion of emerging sensor and computing technologies with building control systems, fire-fighting equipment, and apparatus. Cyber-physical systems will revolutionize fire fighting through a range of approaches most notably represented by collecting the data globally, processing the information centrally, and distributing the results locally. The overarching goal for this work is to develop a research roadmap that establishes the scientific and the technical bases to achieve what is being called Smart Fire Fighting. The vision for Smart Fire Fighting involves the following: • Saving lives and minimizing injuries to building occupants and community members • Improving fire fighter occupational health and safety • Enhancing the overall operational efficiency of the fire service and the effectiveness of fire prevention and protection • Minimizing property loss from fire • Minimizing business interruption and loss of mission continuity due to fire Smart Fire Fighting includes all areas of fire prevention and protection engineering and fire service emergency response, and it addresses all phases of resilience (i.e., pre-incident, during an incident, and post-incident).
Special Publication (NIST SP) - 1191
Report Number


fire fighting, cyber physical systems, smart systems, robotics, sensors, fire protection


Hamins, A. , grant, C. , Bryner, N. , Jones, A. and Koepke, G. (2015), Research Roadmap for Smart Fire Fighting, Special Publication (NIST SP), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed June 20, 2024)


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Created June 11, 2015, Updated January 27, 2020