Massachusetts has implemented version 5 of the National Fire Incident Reporting System. Calendar year 2001 was the implementation year in which we accepted both version 4 and version 5 data. For analysis purposes all version 4 data has been converted to the version 5 format. DFS does not endorse individual software vendors; but will work with any software vendor or fire department to ensure a satisfactory electronic data submission.
Effective January 1, 2002 at 0001 hours all Massachusetts fire departments are required to submit their incident reports in the version 5 format. The Office of the State Fire Marshal is currently only accepting version 5 data. DFS strongly encourages electron ic reporting and has certified software from third party vendors.
Version 5 is the first major overhaul in the way we collect fire incident data nationally in over 20 years. Many of the innovations started here in Massachusetts, such as collecting information on hazardous materials responses and calls for carbon monoxide incidents, have been incorporated into the national system. Version 5 will be able to do a much better job of collecting information on hazardous materials incidents, wildland fires, EMS runs, arson fires, juvenile-set fires, while at the same time making it much easier to report contained fires (in non-combustible containers) such as chimney fires, food on the stove, and wastebasket fires.
For more information, contact Derryl Dion, Research Analyst/MFIRS Manager in the Fire Data and Public Education Unit.