What is a Fire Incident Report Form?
A fire incident report form is used to document any fire-related incidents, near-misses, and other fire safety hazards. It aims to create a narrative around the fire incident, including the damages and injuries incurred when it happened.
A fire incident report is not just used to document the fire incident or notify fire authorities. Most of all, it helps fire service authorities build their fire safety data, analyze circumstances, improve safety strategies, and reduce loss of life and property.
Further, an incident report can add value by serving as a point of reference in measuring how effective a fire safety protection program is. It is also used as a legal document during insurance investigations and helps investigators assess situations during criminal investigations.
In this article, the following points are explained:
What Makes a Good Fire Incident Report?
A good fire incident report should present a clear picture of the incident — the what, why, where, how, and when. It should be written as objectively as possible, containing factual and accurate information.
Avoid using too many words but report it to the best of your knowledge. Make sure that the grammar, spelling, and punctuation are correct.
An effective and thorough method of reporting a fire incident is the F.I.R.E.S method.
It includes the information given at dispatch, including the weather and lighting condition, the street and access to the building, the commands that were given, who requested the command, and more.
It should also give a detailed description (if possible) of what burned. Is it a building, a car, or an area? This type of question and information will help you create a fire incident report.
What directions did the responding units receive? What care did the injured receive? Is force necessary to enter the burned premises?
Aside from these questions, you should also determine whether the fire was accidental or not. If it is, provide substantial evidence to establish that the incident was indeed an accident. Such information is beneficial if an investigation will ensue.
You also need to document the actions taken during the fire incident. It should include how people could get out of the building, the situation when they were getting out, and any injured people.
Also include whether there was an attempt to extinguish the fire. If there was, write what was used to put out the fire and whether it was successfully extinguished or not.
Evaluating the scene or the incident includes all the things you encountered in the aftermath. Was there a fire extinguisher or water hydrant that was not working? Were there any traffic or parking issues that made the roads and streets difficult to access?
Take note of any factors that hampered the response to the fire incident. Such information would help create impactful changes in legislation or fire response to prevent another similar situation from happening.
This section includes the actions taken after putting out the fire. Who was in-charge of the scene afterward? Any other issues that have a direct effect on the fire should be listed under this section of a fire incident report. If you are not sure what to write, you can find a fire department incident report form sample online like this one from the New York City Fire Department.
Essentials of a Good Report
Each submitted fire incident report goes to a database and can be accessed anytime or in the future when needed. The information is essential so fire safety rules can be improved and further prevent serious damage to property and life.
Since the report will be used by actual people, you’ll have to use clear and concise language. Here are more recommendations on writing a good fire incident report.
Compile and collect all the information needed for the report. Review the information you have gathered and discard anything that’s unrelated. Next, arrange the events that transpired systematically, making sure the sequence of events is accurate.
Using an outline is highly recommended to ensure that no information is missing and the chronology is correct.
Not everyone who will read the report understands fire security jargon. So avoid using terminologies that only experts understand. Use simple language — think about the words you use when you talk to someone.
Understand, however, that although you’re asked to use simple language, you have to ensure that the report is free from any spelling or grammar errors. After writing the initial draft, take time to re-read it to spot any mistakes. Your goal is to create a simple yet professional fire incident report.
Moreover, use the first person when reporting. After all, you were the eyewitness to what happened. Never use the second or third person when talking about the events.
Think about the people who will read as well as the purpose of your report. Those who will read it might not have any idea about the fire incident. State all the details of the incident in short and simple sentences. It will enable them to get a clear picture of what happened easily.
As mentioned earlier in the article, the report will become part of a fire security database. It will be used as a reference in the future to aid investigations if there are any. It can also be used by lawmakers to improve present regulations on fire safety.
Therefore, make sure that you only include facts that are pertinent to the investigation. Remove any details that are purely based on opinions, suspicions, and conclusions.
The efficiency of digital fire incident report forms
Documenting incidents, near misses, and other fire hazards can be a lot of work. However, good documentation and evaluation go a long way in combating fire hazards – for businesses, fire departments, and the public. Accurate and comprehensive fire incident reports can help fire departments achieve this goal.
Lumiform, a flexible mobile inspection and documentation app gives you a reliable tool to quickly create complete, high-quality fire incident reports in the field. By using the app and desktop software, the following options are available to you:
- Lumiform’s flexible form builder helps you turn your paper-based paper templates into digital ones without much effort. You can easily update the form templates at any time.
- In addition, we offer more than 12,000 ready-made templates for audits, inspections, and reports that help organizations go digital in a snap.
- With the intuitive mobile app, you and your team can create on-site fire incident reports in no time and with ease.
- Attach photos of important documents (e.g., driver’s license, employee ID cards, fire safety certificates) on the spot.
- Allocate actions immediately from the app to other authorities and people working on the incident.
- Generate professional fire incident reports immediately after an investigation, complete with all attachments such as photos and diagrams from the fire scene.
- Evaluate the data of the fire incident reports in the analysis dashboard to be able to draw conclusions for better fire protection from your evaluations.
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