The National Fire Information Database (NFID) is a groundbreaking national fire data pilot project that will gather and unify 10 years of fire information from across the country and create Canada’s first national system for collecting fire statistics. This project, to be launched this fall, will link fire data with other relevant datasets, and will initiate the creation of new evidence-based research related to fire, public safety, and security.
The Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFC) and the Council of Canadian Fire Marshals and Fire Commissioners (CCFMFC) are collaborating on this project, supported by the Canadian Safety and Security Program (CSSP), a federal program led by Defence Research and Development Canada’s Centre for Security Science, in partnership with Public Safety Canada.
Why does Canada need a National Fire Information Database?
Without trusted evidence-based data, fire officials cannot act with confidence when making choices to improve policy, resource use, and other critical matters affecting the safety of Canadian communities. Moreover, fire officials are facing increasing pressure – from both the public and government decision makers – to justify their decisions and actions with hard data. While many departments are collecting data at the local level, no single jurisdiction, department, agency or organization can accomplish this alone at the national level. The NFID will bring consistency and relevance to the data that is collected, analyzed and used. It will enhance and ensure the ongoing safety of the public, Canada’s firefighters and other first responders.
The National Fire Information Database will:
- Establish a single, central database about Canada’s National Fire Experience.
- Standardize and improve data collection, methodology, and analysis.
- Link fire data with existing socioeconomic data sets including health, crime, education, housing, etc. to provide a level of public safety research and data that has never been seen before
- Provide Fire Marshals and Chief Fire Officers with evidence-based research they can use to provide policy and operational guidance that respond to trends that currently cannot be adequately identified.
- Enhance the ability of fire officials to understand incident dynamics, and actual and potential threats to public safety.
- Provide a valuable data source for in depth academic research that can be combined with incident observations and experiences to generate new knowledge in the public safety domain
- Enhance and ensure the ongoing safety of the public, Canada’s firefighters and other first responders.
Over the course of the 34 months proposed for this work the project team will deliver a cohesive national data set of fire statistics delivered through a web based portal managed by Statistics Canada and available to fire, policy and academic stakeholders within Canada.