Fire safety research takes many forms. The Fire Safety Institute is concerned with applied research to answer the fundamental fire safety questions:

  • What is important?
  • How do we measure it? and
  • How much is enough?

In fire safety, these questions are not often amenable to the laboratory experimentation of physical science research, but require more subtle methods of scientific inquiry such as systems analysis, operations research, and decision science.

Primary areas of fire safety research pursued by the Fire Safety Institute are:

  • Design of methods to synthesize the art and science of fire safety decision-making.
  • Investigation of probabilistic approaches to the evaluation of fire safety.
  • Development of concepts of fire risk analysis and fire risk assessment.
  • Assessment of alternative approaches to fire safety evaluation.

Recent research projects undertaken by the Fire Safety Institute include:

  • Fire Risk Assessment of Telephone Central Office Facilities
  • Case study approaches to performance based fire safety evaluation for historic buildings.
  • Development of fire risk index for library collections.


Aerial view of US Library of Congress – The Fire Safety Institute, under contract to Hughes Associates Inc. developed a fire risk indexing approach to evaluate the protection of the Library’s collections from fire.


Fire Safety Institute, a not-for-profit corporation provides fire safety information, research, and education focusing on innovative approaches to fire safety science and engineering, with extensive expertise in fire risk assessment and fire protection of cultural heritage.