In our recently released Project Update (April 2020), we presented a high-level project plan that outlines the current and forecasted state of various NIFSC project components. We are currently hiring and onboarding personnel for the development and delivery of more programs. Our key focus in these early stages is on fire prevention and public education programs which are proven to have the greatest impact on fire safety. Despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 restrictions, we have made some important progress in several areas.
National Incident Reporting System
The Incident Database will collect information about the cause, origin, and circumstances when fires occur. For example, if the data shows that kitchen fires are a regular event, the information collected can be analyzed to pinpoint the most frequent cause and fire prevention messaging can be created to raise awareness of the issue and highlight ways to prevent those fires. With human behaviour being a significant factor in the start of fires, understanding what led up to that fire is key to developing fire prevention programs that will have the most impact on reducing the number of fires. A good example is the introduction of smoke alarm campaigns that resulted from research showing that a lack of earlier warning was contributing to people frequently becoming overcome by smoke or trapped by fire spread.
We are collaborating with the Office of the Fire Commissioner for the province of British Columbia to put in place an interim Incident Database and we have recently begun the hiring process to fill the position of Incident Database Coordinator.
To ensure that the programs that are being developed have a solid, evidence-based foundation, the NIFSC project is undertaking research in a variety of areas:
- In March 2020, an examination of the feasibility of creating a new baseline for deaths and injuries due to fire-related events in Indigenous communities in Canada was completed.
- Research and reporting using existing data to create a demographic profile of at-risk populations and places in Indigenous communities in Canada. This work will be used to prioritize programs and services geographically in Canada.
- Creation of an evaluation instrument to measure program delivery and outcomes will occur in the second to third quarter of 2020.
- Research on fire-related mortality and morbidity and the creation of an operational report will occur before the end of the first quarter of 2021.
- Research and reporting of fire risk analysis associated with the grading and costs of home and commercial insurance.
- Research and reporting on a business plan for retrofitting residential fire sprinklers and working smoke alarms.