Frequently Asked Questions
NFIRS stands for National Fire Incident Reporting System. The information entered into NFIRS records incidents Idaho fire departments responded to. NFIRS is designed for fire departments to document fires and other incidents in a uniform manner and provide data storage and retrieval.
Each fire department operated by the state, city and county, fire protection district, or private entity which provides fire protection, should provide information and data to the State Fire Marshal relating to each fire that occurs within the agency’s jurisdiction. This allows to examine trends and statistics at a local, state, and national level, statistics for legislation, report consumer product failures, and strategic and organizational planning activities.
Note: It is important that fire departments do not wait until the end of the year to submit all their incident reports. One of the eligibility requirements for receiving federal and state grants is fire departments are compliant with NFIRS.
Departments using a third-party software must send their export files to the State Fire Marshal’s Office. Some vendors may have the option to automatically email the files to our office. Some require you to send the file by email. The files must be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
After the state receives your data submission, you will receive an incident summary that includes the quantity of successful reports, invalid imports, and import failures. All invalids must be corrected and resent for submission. Department will receive a detailed list of the invalid imports and how to fix them.
Contact Nesha Pabst-Bohrer, Program Information Coordinator, at the State Fire Marshal’s Office if you are having any difficulties and for code questions.
Yes. Send your request to email@example.com.
Note: The information on these reports is based off the information departments entered into NFIRS. Departments that don’t report do impact these reports.
State grants require departments to report all their incidents for every month without any invalids.
The federal grant, Assistance to Firefighter Grant (AFG), helps fire department to purchase critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training, and other resources to protect the public and emergency personnel from fire and hazards. Departments are required to report their incidents into NFIRS. Grant Approval is determined by FEMA. The state is not involved nor influences the approval or fire departments awarded. Reports with invalids can affect the information provided on the application. Visit Assistance to Firefighters Grants Program for more information about this grant.
My fire department information has changed. How do I update this information?
The State Fire Marshal is dedicated in maintaining the most current information regarding fire departments. If the information needs to be changed in NFIRS and/or on our website, complete the Fire Department Update Form on our website.
All incidents including EMS, rescue, cancelled enroute, hazards and false alarms must be submitted in NFIRS. Do not report building inspections or training exercises unless there is a fire personnel injury. All firefighter casualties that occurred during an inspection or training use Incident Type 321 – EMS call.
If a department does not respond to any incidents in a specific month, including mutual aid calls, they must submit a No Activity Report.
- Log into NFIRS, select “Create Incident.”
- Check the “No Activity” box above the incident number box.
- Enter “0000000” for the incident number.
- Enter the last date of that month.
- Click the “Save” button.
If you are using a third-party vendor software and they don’t have that option, submit an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Provide the month the “No Activity” occurred. Please include the fire department in the email.
Incident numbers are created by the fire department. It must be seven digits (7) and numeric only. Numbers cannot have dashes, hyphens, or alpha characters.
NFIRS defines mutual aid as a fire departments receiving/giving aid to another fire departments (any agency with a different fire department identification (FDID). The AHJ where the fire occurred must select receiving the aid and the department assisting the AHJ department must select aid given. If a fire department receives assistance (or gives aid) from a non-fire agency, such as an EMS agency or sheriff’s office, no aid is given or received because those agencies are not a fire department. This is to ensure that the incident isn’t counted more than once in NFIRS.
The incident identifies the situation found upon arrival. The scene could be different than what was reported from dispatch. Coding the incident, the accurate Incident Type is important for data quality.
Fire loss and value is an estimation ONLY and does not associate with any insurance policies obtained by the property owner in any way. Estimated property and content losses are crucial for identifying types of situations that are high monetary losses. This information can evaluate the cost affecting firefighting equipment and fire protection practices. Pre-incident helps compares values, delimit the magnitude by providing a basis for comparison. Property and contents dollar loss should be recorded for ALL fire incidents. Contents loss includes contents damaged by fire, smoke, water, and overhaul. You may contact your local assessor’s office for assistance with property values. Helpful websites that may also aid in property value (and square footage for the Structure Module) are Zillow and Kelley Blue Book for vehicle estimates.
In the Basic Module, section H1, is where you document the quantity of casualties. This will require the Fire Service Casualty module and/or the Civilian Fire Casualty to be completed. These modules must be completely filled out. If departments provide any care to a civilian that was not involved in a fire, departments can fill out the EMS module with that information. The output of this information is labeled as “Non-Fire” injuries/casualties. Any name, age and date of birth should be redacted if requested by the public. The Idaho Public Records Law applies to all “public agencies.” Public agency is defined as any state or local agency and includes a county, city, school district, municipal corporation, district, public health district, political subdivision, or any government agency.
Yes, an incident should be created for all firefighter casualties, whether or not they occur at an incident.
Note: Fire personnel casualties during inspection or training should be coded as Incident Type 321-EMS call.
No. The USFA’s collection of data in NFIRS is not a HIPAA violation. Any Publicly Identifiable Information (PII) is not collected in NFIRS. However, fire departments that use CAD to auto fill their reports should check the narrative for personal information.
Property Use should be coded by the actual use of the property. If the property has more than one use, for example malls, and apartments with commercial uses, the Mixed Use under the Basic Information page should indicate the overall use of that property. Then select the Property Use where the incident occurred.