Data Analytics and Statistics Hub

Safe and Engaged Communities

Confine structure fires to room of origin 85% of the time


FY19 Actual

FY18 Actual

Objective Description

Confining structure fires to the area or room of origin can be indicative of an effective fire suppression response, which is dependent on getting sufficient resources to an incident scene quickly, and effective fire suppression operations by firefighters. Though some fires will have already spread beyond the room of origin upon arrival of firefighters, when firefighters have the opportunity to confine fires to the room of origin, property loss can be reduced, and injuries and deaths to both occupants and firefighters can be avoided or minimized. Incidents where fire has already extended beyond the room of origin upon arrival of firefighters negatively impact the result for this performance measure.

Trend Analysis

In FY 2019, there were 232 structure fires, including fixed mobile homes and commercial trailers, and nearly 85% were confined to the object or room of origin, the same as the ten-year average. During the ten-year period from FY 2009 to FY 2019, nearly 85% of all structure fires were confined to the object or room of origin, and 1.6% of fires spread beyond the structure. During this period, there was an average of 267 structure fires annually in Howard County. Overall the number of structure fires declined by 33% during these ten years. For the six years between FY 2009 and FY 2014, the number of structure fires steadily declined by an average of 21 fires per year, but by FY 2015 the County experienced an increase of 16 structure fires per year through FY 2018. During FY 2019, the number of structure fires sharply declined by 52.


  • Implement a dynamic dispatch system that determines unit assignments based on real-time GPS-based Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL).
  • Strategically plan and construct new facilities and place apparatus around the County.
  • Assure adequate staffing on fire engines, aerial and rescue squad units that allows for effective and rapid execution of "critical immediate tasks" upon arrival to fires.

Source: Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue

Detailed Analysis

Copyright 2018 by Howard County, Maryland | Privacy Statement | Terms Of Use | ADA Notice