Illinois Fire Departments are required by State Law to report all fire incidents to the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) which is administered by the United States Fire Administration. Data submission can be done in one of three ways:
The Data Entry Tool Version 5.9xx is a modified and improved National Fire Incident Reporting System that has been designed as a tool for fire departments to report and maintain computerized records of fires and other FD incidents in a uniformed manner. NFIRS 5.9xx was developed by the United States Fire Administration (USFA) in partnership with National Fire Information Council (NFIC). Additional information on NFIRS 5.9xx can be found by visiting the NFIRS web site and clicking on “Active users – log in to NFIRS".
The Data Entry Browser Interface (DEBI) is an easy way to report incidents to NFIRS. Any computer can be used, as long as continual internet access is supplied. No download is required and there is no locally installed software to maintain. DEBI and the other web-based tools work best with Firefox browser. DO NOT USE GOOGLE CHROME with the DEBI tool.
Third party software must be certified by the USFA. For a list vendor certification, information please check the NFIRS Approved 3rd Party Vendor list.
An online NFIRS training course is available at https://www.usfa.fema.gov/data/nfirs/support/self_study.html
The NFIRS 5.0 Complete Reference Guide and other information on how to complete NFIRS reports is available at https://www.usfa.fema.gov/data/nfirs/support/index.html
NFIRS Users must log on to their account at least once within 45 days in order to avoid lock-out. Below is a calendar that helps track days in the system, as well as usernames and passwords:
NFIRS Cheat Sheets
This is a quick reference guide to coding incident reports as well as answers to the most commonly answered questions:
NFIRS Cheat Sheet
Illinois NFIRS Requirements and Tips
This guide includes Illinois NFIRS legislation requirements, as well as helpful tips when entering reports:
Online NFIRS Incident Reporting– DEBI Guide
Below are instructions on how to report online using the Data Entry Browser Interface (DEBI):
Summary Output Reports Tool Basic Guide
The Summary Output Reports Tool (SORT) is an excellent way to view statistics from reported incidents. SORT reports can also be used to show how many incident reports a department has in the NFIRS system at any given time. With almost two dozen reports to choose from, virtually any data a department enters into the NFIRS system can be recovered in easy to read and understand reports. SORT reports are a great way to show a department’s hard work. Please click below for instructions:
No Activity Report Instructions
Below are instructions on how to enter No Activity Reports. A No Activity Report must be completed for any month a department has absolutely no incidents (including cancelled in routes):
NFIRS Error Procedures Documents
Below are documents which outline how to search for and correct invalid incidents:
NFIRS Error Procedures Document [PDF 91Kb]
Error Correction Procedure for Firehouse ThirdParty Users [PDF, 1.73Mb]
Third Party Vendor Users:
It has come to my attention that some departments using third party vendors may not be checking their confirmation email zip files after import. Please be aware that the email received after an import does not guarantee that your incidents were imported. Departments must always open their zip files to check for amount of incidents successfully uploaded, correct dates, errors and exceptions. Please see the attached document with directions on how to check your zip files from the import email.
It is imperative that fire departments check the data in the NFIRS database from time to time. Below are instructions on how to use SORT reports to not only check your monthly incident counts, but to look at your data from many different angles:
To check reports by month, follow the instructions below:
Thank you for helping make NFIRS better and stronger. We not only use and look at statistics on a State level, but trends are evaluated constantly nationally. Please know your contribution of data is making a difference to strengthen the fire service and save lives.
If you have any questions, please contact our office.
State statutes, specifically 425 ILCS 25/6 of the Fire Investigation Act, requires the Fire Chief of each department to submit reports of all activity to our office. In order to be NFIRS compliant, departments must complete all incident reports or "No Activity" Reports (if the department had no fire incidents that month). Departments are required to submit their monthly incidents by the 15th of following month.
Data quality verification will be implemented on all incidents that contain a response time of over 30 minutes, any invalid incidents, incidents with a dollar loss of over one million dollars, and all incidents with a civilian or fire service casualty.
2015 Statewide Incident Statistics
Statewide Summary by Incident Type
2014 Statewide Incident Statistics
2013 Statewide Incident Statistics
Please contact our office if you have any questions or issues about your NFIRS reporting. Please include your FDID number when you fill out the contact form.