On August 17th a diverse group of fire service, building regulatory and research professionals met at NFPA to try to answer a question. In a world where decisions are increasingly being driven by dollars and cents, how do we demonstrate the value of fire prevention, community fire risk reduction, and firefighting using this new language?
Representatives from Phoenix Fire, Las Vegas Fire and Rescue, and Purdue University gave examples of cost/benefit methods that were used to demonstrate the value of warehouse firefighting, home fire sprinklers and AFCIs, respectively. Researchers from Sweden, Harvard, UC Davis and SUNY Buffalo demonstrated how a more theoretical approach to cost/benefit might reflect some of the indirect/opportunity costs that preventing fires or reducing their size can effect.
The group brainstormed to identify needs for data that will inform these strategies and standardized approaches, and make the arguments that jurisdictions across the country can use.
NFPA will consider this input as we chart our path forward to meet these needs for our stakeholders.