Drawing lessons from fire data collaboration in the Nordics

Oct 15, 2019 | European Fire Safety Community, News

Exclusive Interview with Steen Hjere Nonneman, Head of Statistics at the Danish Emergency Management Agency

Steen sitting in front of a computer

There are remarkable initiatives on fire data collection that we can learn from across Europe. One successful case of collaborative fire data collection that spans jurisdictional boundaries is the Nordic Fire Statistics. The Nordic Fire Statistics foster cooperation between the national fire authorities in Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. It intends to enable fire statistics comparisons between these countries to address common challenges and improve Nordic fire safety holistically.  Fire Safe Europe interviewed Steen Hjere Nonneman, Head of Statistics at the Danish Emergency Management Agency to learn more about this notable cooperation between Nordic countries.

FSEU: For how long have Nordic countries been cooperating on fire data collection?

Mr. Nonnemann: Nordstat had the first meeting in Denmark in 2004. Now, we have a 1½ day meeting about statistics and how to collect data every year.

FSEU: Did you encounter challenges in collecting data?

Mr. Nonnemann: Each country has challenges. For instant in some countries, submitting data is optional. Of course, that in itself is a challenge.

FSEU: If so, what was the nature of these challenges and how did you overcome them?

Mr. Nonnemann: In general, it is difficult to get people to submit data, which some reporters find it difficult to see the purpose of. But of course, it is easiest for the countries where it is mandatory to submit data because fire departments typically receive money to provide the information. It is my impression that all countries spend a lot of resources on telling fire departments why it is important that they provide quality data.


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