Public Safety Research

TriData has undertaken a wide variety of research on public safety issues. Some examples of our research and data analysis reports are listed below. On the occasion of our 25th anniversary, Fire Chief Magazine said that we probably had published more landmark reports in our field than any other firm.

“Global Concepts in Residential Fire Safety” (co-authored with CDC epidemiologists)—Part 1-Best Practices from England, Scotland, Sweden and Norway Part 2- Best Practices from Australia, New Zealand and Japan. Part 3- Best Practices from Canada, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic. (2007-2009) We found that a comprehensive program of home safety visits conducted by the fire service to most of the community could reduce fire deaths by 50-60 percent. That now is one of the key concepts for community risk reductions (CRR).

“Fire in the United States”—Our managing member founded this series of data reports while at the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA). They summarize data collected by the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS). TriData subsequently authored many editions of the report. We also authored many topical research reports based on the NFIRS data and supplemental sources, ranging across candle fires, smoking fires, seasonal fires, fireboats, arson fires, and fires to high-risk groups. We did a 10-year study of firefighter fatalities in the U.S., and a study of the economic cost of fires and fire injuries.

“Economic Consequences of Firefighter Injuries, and Their Prevention”—for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), We also authored a report for NIST that estimated the billions of dollars saved by a decade of research at its fire research laboratory. (2004)

Public Fire Education Series“Proving Public Fire Education Works”; “Reaching the Hard to Reach”; “Overcoming Barriers to Public Fire Education.”

“Retention and Recruiting in the Volunteer Fire Service- Problems and Solutions.”— 4-year study for USFA.

“Wildland Firefighter Safety Awareness Study”—Identifying the Organizational Culture, Leadership, Human Factors and Other Issues Impacting Firefighter Safety, Department of Agriculture Forest Service and four others; 1998.

Opportunities for Police and Corrections Cost Savings Without Sacrificing Service Quality:”—Reducing Fuel Consumption”; “Reducing False Alarm”s; [reducing cost of ]” Inmate Health Care,” The Urban Institute, 2013.

Radio Communications—For the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), we produced seminal research on the status, knowledge gaps, and issues pertaining to firefighter radio communications systems.

“Unfinished Business”—Questions that need to be answered for improved community risk reduction, better budgeting, and a safer fire service. An article in December 2017 FireRescue Magazine addresses ways to improve quality of fire data and needed fire data analyses.

Estimating Lives and Property Saved—article in Fire Chief Magazine, on a practical approach to estimating the dollar losses and lives saved by fire department operations. The methodology has been tested in Fort Worth and Liverpool, England, and across the US Navy’s fire service.

Robotics for Reducing Firefighter Injuries: Now and Potential—article in Fire Engineering Magazine. Rodent-size robots could be used for preliminary search; “mules” can be used for carrying heavy loads up stairs; automated vehicles can extract victims from hazmat or biological environments.  Click here to view.

Fire Safe Cigarettes—“Initial Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Reduced Ignition Propensity Cigarettes in Reducing Cigarette Ignited Fires”—Case Studies of the North American Experience (2011). Based on data from Ontario, Alberta and New York. “Is The EU Test Standard For Cigarettes Reducing Fire Deaths Working?” (2018) We found little if any impact, nothing like what was expected.


A key part of our success for over 35 years is our reputation for objectivity and integrity. We have never shied away from research on controversial topics. We are analysts, not advocates, and believe that programs must be evaluated objectively. When hired by the private sector or government organizations, it is with the proviso that the results be unbiased by political or corporate considerations. Clients may choose not to release our reports, but not to change their findings.