Safe Grades

The Safe Grade is a comparison of the Community Risk Score with the Fire Department Performance Score.

A community's set of safe grades represent an assessment of the number of fires, of fire spread, and of civilian and firefighter injury or death based on how well the Fire Department resources (performance score) are deployed to match the level of risks within the commnunity (risk score). There are 3 safe grade comparison categories:

  • Performance based on number of fires
  • Performance based on fire spread
  • Performance based on injury and death

There are five Safe Grades in total. Three Safe Grades compare against similar departments and two compare the individual department on a national level. In all cases, the comparisons are conditioned based on the risk group (low, medium, high) the community falls within for relevent category (see above). For example, if a department's community risk assessment for fire spread risk is medium, then its Safe Grade is determined by a rank order of its Performance Score against all "like" departments that also have a medium fire risk. A department’s national Safe Grade would then compare its Performance Score against all departments nation-wide that have a medium fire spread risk. Like departments are determined based on NFPA Region and population protected.

Note that the fire risk safe grade comparison is not made on the national level as it is a number estimate and larger communities would be unfairly penalized.


Each comparison described above is done with similar fire departments as determined by population and risk levels, resulting in departments being ranked and then placed into groups.

Good: less than 25% of departments have an equal or better performance score.
Fair: 25-75% of departments have a better performance score.
Poor: over 75% of departments have an equal or better performance score.
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