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Prevention Activities in U.S. Fire Departments / National Survey

Results and Recommendations from a National Survey

March 2023

United States fire departments’ role in fire prevention has been touted as a key strategy to reduce the overall fire burden in most major reports about the fire service. Fire prevention is an expansive topic that requires public education programming tailored to numerous populations, settings, and topics to be effective. The role of the fire department expanded well beyond the topic of fire and burn prevention decades ago under the frame of fire and life safety education (FLSE). In 2006, a survey of U.S. fire department’s FLSE activities was conducted, and a 2007 report was distributed broadly to the fire service. Since that report, the concept of prevention has evolved within the fire service and the most contemporary conceptualization of it is as a key element of Community Risk Reduction (CRR). Given the continued evolution of prevention programming within the fire service and the amount of time that has transpired since the last survey, the time was ripe for an updated picture of fire departments’ prevention activities. With support from FEMA’s Assistance to Firefighters Grants, we surveyed U.S. fire departments to better understand their prevention priorities.

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This report describes the methods, results, and limitations of the survey, along with a set of recommendations that were developed with input from key stakeholders.

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If you have any questions, please contact:
Eileen M. McDonald, MS
Senior Scientist and MSPH Program Director, Department of Health, Behavior and Society
Core Faculty, Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy
Director, Children’s Safety Center and PI, Injury-Free Kids-Baltimore
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

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