What is NFPA 1300 and Why is it essential?

It also establishes a framework for public safety organizations to collect, organize and analyze data on risk factors in their communities, enabling them to better understand the sources of risk and determine how best to mitigate those risks. The standard provides guidance on identifying gaps in current practice, outlining strategies to fill those gaps, and recommending implementation processes that are consistent with local resources and capabilities. Ultimately, 

NFPA 1300 is intended to strengthen the safety of communities by creating more effective CRR plans that can be implemented efficiently and effectively. 

How does this matter to you?

According to the National Fire Protection Association, NFPA 1300 helps a broad range of authorities determine what kind of emergencies are occurring in their community, where, and to whom. NFPA 1300 provides the framework for building a CRR team, fostering strategic partnerships, and applying data to conduct both CRA and CRR activities.  


Community risk reduction is a method that assists in recognizing and ranking the dangers that a community encounters. It emphasizes the tactical and integrated use of resources to diminish the frequency and influence of such risks on the community. In simpler terms, it is a way to aid communities in determining their risks and creating a strategy to decrease those that are deemed high-priority. The following are the steps involved in community risk reduction:

  • Conduct a Community Risk Assessment (CRA)
  • Develop a CRR plan
  • Implement the plan

Assessing the success of the Community Risk Reduction (CRR) plan, it has gained momentum in recent years. Lorraine Carli, the Vice President of Outreach and Advocacy at the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), states that the data-driven methodology of CRR provides a means for city leaders to identify obstacles, allocate responsibility, and establish transparency among agencies during a period when officials are grappling with financial constraints, concerns about data, and numerous new challenges. NFPA 1300 acts as a catalyst for local leaders to initiate discussions and implement measures.


The primary aim of conducting a community risk assessment (CRA) is to assess the risks a community faces before devising and executing a plan for Community Risk Reduction (CRR) and programs that aim to diminish, alleviate, or eradicate such risks. The CRA should encompass a range of profiles that outline the characteristics of the community, including but not limited to:

  • Demographic 
  • Geographic 
  • Building stock 
  • Public safety response agencies 
  • Community service organizations 
  • Hazards 
  • Economic 
  • Past loss/event history 
  • Critical infrastructure systems 

A critical component of the CRA is to determine what’s causing the most prominent risks that are impacting a community. With this information, you can develop a CRR plan to reduce, mitigate, or eliminate those risks. A useful tool for determining the cause of any problem is the “5 Whys” approach to root cause analysis.  


The “5 Whys” technique is a method that involves repeatedly asking “Why?” in order to identify the underlying cause of a problem. The goal is to arrive at the root cause, and usually, it takes five rounds of questioning, although the number may vary depending on the situation. To illustrate, let’s say there has been an increase in the number of people sustaining fire-related injuries in an apartment complex. In this scenario, you could ask the following series of questions using the “5 Whys” method:  

  • Why? The smoke alarms are not providing early detection and warning.
  • Why? Because the batteries are missing.
  • Why? Because people have been removing the batteries from the alarms.
  • Why? Because the alarms are causing nuisance warnings.
  • Why? Because the alarms are installed in the wrong locations.

The answer to the fifth “Why?” is the root cause of the rise in fire-related injuries. Therefore, the strategy for risk reduction is to reinstall the alarms in the correct locations. This method can be used to get to the root cause of any problem. 


After completing the Community Risk Assessment (CRA) and implementing the Community Risk Reduction (CRR) plan, it becomes necessary to assess the plan’s efficacy. The techniques used for data collection will depend on the specific CRR plan being implemented. Common data collection methods include, but are not restricted to, the following: 

  • Counting number of attendees of a program
  • Counting number of inspections conducted
  • Pre- and post-test comparisons
  • Random quality assessment surveys
  • Customer or participant surveys
  • Presenter evaluations from attendees

An annual report of the CRR plan should be prepared and presented for review to the appropriate agencies, departments, and employees having designated responsibilities in the plan. 


APXData provides various reports that can assist your department in conforming to NFPA 1300 and, more significantly, in ensuring the safety of your community.


Last Updated on March 30, 2023