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Strategic Roadmap for Fire Risk Reduction in Buildings and Communities



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


The burden of fire on the U.S. economy continues to be large, comprising approximately $280 billion annually, or 2 percent of GDP. Over the last 30 years, civilian fire deaths and injuries have decreased due to the efforts of many people and organizations. Nonetheless, the trends suggest that the numbers may be reaching plateaus, while new, potentially costly threats to fire safety are emerging. NIST has developed this roadmap to provide a shared vision for communication, bring the limited available resources to bear on the U.S. fire burden in a focused and creative manner for enhanced effectiveness, provide a basis for NIST strategic planning, and identify gaps in knowledge and measurement science that hinder the development of critical enabling technologies. NIST’s long-term vision is that unwanted fire be removed as a limitation to life safety, technical innovation, and economic prosperity in the United States. To realize this vision, the near-term goal is to develop and demonstrate the measurement science by 2016 to enable a significant reduction in the impact of fire on structures, their occupants, and the fire service. The long-term goal is to provide the measurement science that enables a reduction of the Nation's fire burden by half within a generation. The fire problem is considered in terms of life safety and societal costs. At the highest level, the problem is considered in three parts, namely, fire hazards in buildings, challenges faced by the fire service, and fire spread in wildland-urban interface (WUI) communities. A number of approaches are proposed to attack the problems in each of these application areas. Based on input from NIST staff and stakeholders nationwide, a set of strategic research priorities are developed.
Special Publication (NIST SP) - 1130
Report Number


fire safety, roadmap, strategic plan, building fires, wildland-urbain interface fires, firefighting


Hamins, A. , Averill, J. , Gann, R. , Bryner, N. , Davis, R. , Butry, D. , Maranghides, A. , Yang, J. , Madrzykowski, D. , Bundy, M. , Manzello, S. , Gilman, J. , Amon, F. and Mell, W. (2012), Strategic Roadmap for Fire Risk Reduction in Buildings and Communities, Special Publication (NIST SP), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed July 15, 2024)


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Created April 18, 2012, Updated January 27, 2020