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How to Conduct a CRA

Posted by thecodecoach Oct 30, 2016

Chapter 5 of NFPA 1730 outlines the requirements for the conduct of a community risk assessment (CRA). The CRA is the tool that is used to determine the priorities and strategies of a the fire prevention organization.  The CRA can be conducted in 3 steps.

  1. Gather Information
  2. Analyze Data
  3. Develop Strategy
Gather Information. NFPA 1730 describes seven content areas that should be assessed. These areas are:
1.)  Demographics - describes the composition of the communities population
2.)  Geographic overview - describes the physical features of the community
3.)  Building stock - describes occupancy types within the community
4.)  Fire experience -  describes the communities past fire experience(s)
5.)  Responses -  describes the types of calls for service
6.)  Hazards - describes the different types of hazards within a community
7.)  Economic profile - describes facilities and activities vital to the communities financial sustainability
Analyze Data.  After the above information has been gathered, the data must be analyzed and evaluated. This analysis should be applied to identify specific risks the community is exposed to. NFPA 1730 recommends the use of a risk assessment matrix.  The matrix is a visual representation that classifies hazards based on probability and impact.  
Another type of risk assessment matrix prefer presents hazards and risk level in a numerical format. I have written extensively on, and utilized, this numerical assessment matrix format. Read more about this method at, Fire Risk FAQ and Conducting the 3 Step Risk Assessment. You can also take my free on-line course, Risk Assessment Workshop.
Develop Strategy.  After you have defined your community needs, and identified risks and hazards, a strategy for prevention and mitigation can be developed. This strategy is referred to as a community risk reduction (CRR) plan. The CRR outlines the programs and strategies that will be utilized to reduce, mitigate, or eliminate the risks posed to the community.  The CRR will be different for every community common elements include, existing building inspections, plan review, origin and cause investigations, and public education. 
It is essential that a CRA be conducted. It is only through this analysis that fire prevention organizations can be effective.  A valuable tool for assisting departments with the CRA is the on-line Community Risk Assessment Guide, created by Vision 20/20. This guide can be accessed at

It might be a flickering lamp or an odd odor around the wall outlet. Either one can indicate a hidden danger that easily leads to property destruction and fire damage repair.

The electricity humming through your home is a powerful energy source and, according to the National Fire Protection Association, one of the leading causes of devastating house fires.

We help residents and businesses across Chicago recover from fire damage every day. Our crews find that many people don’t completely understand the unusual nature of electrical fire or what to do when it suddenly breaks out.

Are you ready to handle this type of emergency?

Voltage Instead of Flames and Embers

Most homeowners think of fire hazards as unattended stove tops or stray fireplace embers.

You probably don’t worry about the voltage running through your home’s electrical system, but the statistics are disturbing. More than 50,000 homes are affected and almost 500 deaths are caused by electrical house fires every year.

Even when the damage is confined to just one or two rooms, this type of fire spreads very quickly. As electricity arcs through wiring in walls and ceilings, it fries lines, ricochets off equipment and ruins appliances plugged into your home’s electrical system.

The Most Common Sources of Electrical Fires in Homes:

electrical fire kitchen after

Wiring and related equipment are responsible for more than 60 percent of electrical home fires. Lighting fixtures, lamps and bulbs account for another 20 percent while plugs and cords are to blame for approximately 11 percent.

A 2013 report from the National Fire Prevention Association breaks down the different types of equipment involved in electrical house fires including space heaters, HVAC systems, water heaters and electric ranges.

Whether an electrical fire starts in the kitchen or sparks behind a wall, the causes are usually similar.

1. Equipment Wears Out

All appliances have limited mechanical lives. Once a space heater or electric range outlives its manufacturer’s recommended years of usage, it can become a fire hazard.

                                                                                Read Full Article

Ever since 1927, Fire Prevention Week has focused on a different theme. This year, it’s all about the smoke alarm, so this small but vital appliance leads off our list of simple things you can do to prevent home fires.


1. Do More Than Test the Smoke Alarm

Three out of every five house fire fatalities occur in homes that don’t have a working smoke alarm. It’s not enough to change batteries and test the trigger mechanism.

Take the unit down from the ceiling or wall, and check the production date located on its frame. If it’s 10 years old, you need a new alarm.

Fire Prevention Week banner

This banner is reproduced from NFPA’s website, ©2016 NFPA.

2. Don’t Leave the Kitchen While You’re Cooking

Your stove and oven don’t look dangerous, but cooking equipment is statistically the leading cause of home fires.

If you leave the kitchen while cooking, turn off burners, and turn on a timer to remind you that the stove’s still on. Keep dish towels, pot holders and plastic utensils away from open flames.

Power Tip: Toaster ovens can generate intense electrical heat in just a few minutes. Always keep a close eye on these countertop appliances when in use.