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Community Risk Reduction (CRR)

CRR efforts in the community - Spokane
Photo credit: Tom Lia at the Chicago Public Fire Safety Education Summit

What is Community Risk Reduction (CRR)?

As defined in NFPA 1300, Standard on Community Risk Assessment and Community Risk Reduction Plan Development, CRR is a process to identify and prioritize local risks, followed by the integrated and strategic investment of resources to reduce their occurrence and impact. In other words, it is a process to help communities find out what their risks are and develop a plan to reduce the risks viewed as high priority. The steps involved in the CRR are conducting a Community Risk Assessment (CRA), developing a CRR plan, implementing the plan, and evaluating the plan.





NFPA and mySidewalk have entered into a strategic collaboration to combine the industry-leading NFPA codes and standards, including NFPA 1300, with mySidewalk’s innovative Community Intelligence Platform to create a user-friendly tool to assist communities with the risk assessment process. A pilot project is underway to create this digital tool which will allow communities to quickly identify local risks to life and property, understand underlying conditions that may contribute to those risks, and activate teams to develop CRR plans informed by data. NFPA is working with 50 fire departments over the next year to help us develop and test the new digital tool. Be on the lookout for updates about this important project.

Who’s who in CRR?

Everyone has a role in CRR! First responders, residents, business owners, visitors, students – everyone has a role in driving a community culture of safety and prevention.

Stakeholders are individuals, groups, or organizations who might be affect or be affected by the CRA or the CRR plan. For example, firefighters, city planners, and members of the local civic organization are stakeholders.

Partners are people or groups who agree to share physical, financial, or intellectual resources to achieve common goals. Big box retailers who donate materials to help Firewise communities are partners. Local faith-based groups may serve as partners if they provide space and promotion for educational safety presentations.

CRR committee is the group of people responsible for developing the CRR plan.



What is a Community Risk Assessment (CRA)?

Wichita classroom with adults
  Photo courtesy of Witchita Fire Department

The CRA is an important first step in the CRR process. It is a comprehensive evaluation that identifies, prioritizes, and defines the risks that pertain to the overall community. The CRA informs the CRR plan and results in a full understanding of the community’s unique risks, capabilities, and characteristics related to the following profiles:

  • Demographics
  • Geography
  • Economics
  • Building stock
  • Hazards
  • Past loss & event history
  • Community service organizations
  • Public safety response agencies
  • Critical infrastructure
Diving into data

To complete a CRA, teams must get a clear picture of a community’s characteristics, its unique risks, and its capabilities – all of which are most accurately described by data. Communities collect tremendous amounts of data that can be used to paint unique pictures of each neighborhood. The National Fire Data System (NFDS) harnesses the power of data to improve the safety of all community members. Visit the NFDS page to learn more about this project and to sign up to share data.

Community Risk Reduction presentations
  • What Do We Know? Marty Ahrens, NFPA (PDF)
    This presentation provides an overview of fire department responses, home structure fires, other types of fire department calls, leading causes of fatal and non-fatal injuries, and a brief introduction to RE-Aim evaluation framework.

  • Door Messaging Strategies & Smoke Alarm Waking Effectiveness, Victoria Hutchison, Fire Protection Research Foundation (PDF)
    This presentation provides an overview of research conducted to analyze the impact of door position on home escape. This research was prompted by requests from the field to better understand appropriate messaging around door position, particularly when sleeping. Room of origin and occupant placement are considered in the analysis. Questions posed by the Educational Messages Advisory Committee about the benefits and risks of sleeping with a closed door are addressed. Additional information from a recent report on smoke alarm waking effectiveness is provided.

  • Two Years Immersed in CRR: Research Findings, Chelsea Rubadou, NFPA (PDF)
    This presentation shares key findings from an NFPA listening tour designed to actively assess the landscape of Community Risk Reduction across the United States. NFPA Community Risk Reduction strategists met with a plethora of professionals representing a wide range of CRR interest and engagement to gain a comprehensive view of CRR and learn about the strategies, successes, and challenges present in this space. After collecting this qualitative data, a theoretical framework was developed to describe the status of CRR and tested the viability of strategic actions established for implementers to enhance their efforts at the local level.

More information
  • CRR fact sheet - Download this quick reference of highlights from NFPA 1300
  • Podcast - NFPA Community Risk Reduction Strategist Chelsea Rubadou talks with CRR Radio about the new standard, NFPA 1300
  • NFPA Journal® article - Got Risk? The short answer is yes, you do. But the data-driven insights generated by the Community Risk Reduction process can help you identify, prioritize, and minimize the hazards that keep you awake at night, May/June 2019.
  • News release - NFPA and mySidewalk to develop Community Risk Assessment tool

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