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WAFIRS - WASHINGTON'S FIRE INCIDENT REPORTING SYSTEM

Welcome to the knowledge base for the Washington Fire Incident Reporting System.  The Washington Fire Chiefs are the Program Managers for this project, and would like to help you with any and all questions you might have.  If you need assistance, please consult the FAQ's below, and call us at 360.352.0161 for any assistance you might need!

NFIRS FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How do I download the FEMA Client Tool / NFIRS Software

NFIRS Software Download Instructions

  1. To download the software, go to www.nfirs.fema.gov.
  2. In the green bar at the top of the page, click on 'User Section'.
  3. Then, on the left, click on 'User Home'. If you get a Security Alert window, click ‘OK”.
  4. You should then see a logon screen. Login using your NFIRS account information. When prompted that you are about to access a U.S. Government information system, click ‘OK’.
  5. Once you have logged in, on the left, click on 'Download Software'.
  6. Then, to download the software, click on 'NFIRS 5.0 Client Version 5.9.2'.
  7. A new window should open with the title ‘File Download Notice: Application Executable File’. Click on ‘Download Now’.
  8. When asked if you want to run or save the file, select ‘Save’ and change the ‘Save In’ location to your Desktop. Click ‘Save’.
  9. The program file is named ‘NFIRSv592.exe’ and is 13 MB in size. When the download is complete, click ‘Close’.
  10. Locate the ‘NFIRSv592.exe’ file on your Desktop and double-click on the file to start the installation of the program. When prompted, accept all the defaults and keep clicking 'Next' until the program finishes. 

How do I report incidents using my Web Browser?

Report Incidents Using Data Entry Browser Interface (DEBI)

  1. To access the Data Entry Browser Interface (DEBI) website for incident reporting, go to www.nfirs.fema.gov.
  2. In the green bar at the top of the page, click on ‘Web-based Tools’.
  3. Then, on the left, click on ‘Report Incidents (DEBI)’. If you get a Security Alert window, click ‘OK’.
  4. You should then see a logon screen. Login using your NFIRS account information. When prompted that you are about to access a U.S. Government information system, click ‘OK’.
  5. Click on ‘New Incident’ to add an incident for your fire department or click on ‘Incident Search’ to search for current incidents in the system.

How do I run Web Based Reports?

Running NFIRS Web-Based Reports

  1. To access the web-based reports website, go to www.nfirs.fema.gov.
  2. In the green bar at the top of the page, click on ‘Web-based Tools’.
  3. Then, on the left, click on ‘Summary Output Reports Tool’. If you get a Security Alert window, click ‘OK’.
  4. Login using your NFIRS account information. When prompted that you are about to access a U.S. Government information system, click ‘OK’.
  5. You should see a list of reports that you can run on the page. The 'Summary by Incident Type' and 'Monthly Incident Counts' reports are both good reports to run to check the current incidents showing in the system for your department. Click on a report title to run a report.
  6. Enter dates in the date range fields such as 01/01/2010 for the From Date, and 12/31/2010 for the To Date. For the dropdown boxes, select ‘All’ for Incident Status, ‘All’ for Version, and ‘All’ for Release Status. This ensures that you are getting all of your incidents in the report.
  7. In the ‘FDID Selection’ window, click the folder next to NFIRS - NFDC, then the folder next to Virginia, and then continue to expand out to your division, locality, and fire department. Click the box next to your fire department to select. You should see a check in the box.
  8. Click the ‘Generate Report’ button at the bottom of the page to submit the report to run on the server.
  9. On the top left of the page, click on ‘My Recent Reports’. Your report should be listed on the page. Keep clicking on ‘My Recent Reports’ to refresh the page. Once your report is finished, the status will show ‘Completed’. The time that it takes to run a report varies based on the total number of reports being requested.
  10. To view and save your report, click on one of the available report formats; PDF, Excel, Word, or HTML to download.
  11. When prompted ‘Do you want to open or save this file?’, select ‘Save’, change the ‘Save In’ location to your Desktop and enter a filename for the report. Then, click ‘Save’. When the download is complete, click ‘Close’.
  12. Locate the file on your Desktop to open. You now have a file that you can print and save for future reference.
  13. Click on ‘Available Reports’ at the top left of the webpage to go back to the list of available reports, if you want to run another report.

How do I upload my NFIRS File from a Third Party Software?

The Bulk Import Utility enables the automation of fire department and incident data processing at the National Database without using the USFA NFIRS 5.0 client software. Data files created by the USFA NFIRS 5.0 software Version 4.0 or later as well as data files created by Active Vendors' software can be placed on the server one at a time or in a batch mode. Export files created with NFIRS 5.0 software Version 3 can be sent, however, they will be processed under the most current rules and codes.

There is an upload limit of 10 files per zipped file, which allows a maximum of 30 files per upload.

 

While the transmission of data to the National Database is performed in a secure environment, the email receipt of the transmission and validation logs are only as secure as the user's email environment.

 

The amount of network and internet traffic may affect the transfer rate. The amount of files in queue on the server may affect the processing rate. The size of the import log files may affect the download rate. They are zipped to expedite download time.
Users sending files to the National Database using the Bulk Import Utility should confirm that the FDID header records for the FDIDs included in the file have been created in the National Database before proceeding with file transmission. Contact the State Program Manager or the NFIRS Support Center for more information.

 

File Format
Files must be in ASCII text format (created and saved in a text editor which does not add hidden or unprintable characters to the file contents). Zip files are allowed, with a limit of 10 files per zipped file. Zip files will speed upload performance of import.
A trial version of Winzip can be obtained at no cost at www.winzip.com

 

Necessary Specifications
The user must make the following selections before submitting the file(s) using the Bulk Import Utility:
  • Accept Invalid Incidents
  • Overwrite Existing incidents
  • The User's Email address
If a zipped file contains multiple files, the selections must be valid for each of the files. The selections will be applied to each of the files contained in the zipped file. Valid 4.1 incidents will be marked as Released when imported to the National Database, in the same manner as the USFA Client Import/Export Tool validation and import functions. Browser Requirements and Connectivity Information
  • Minimum Recommended Modem Speed: 28.8 kbps or better
  • Internet Explorer Version 5.5 or later is necessary.
  • Netscape Communicator Version 4.7 or later is necessary.
  • The PC must have frames enabled to view all necessary pages.
  • The PC must have cookies enabled. Non-persistent (or session cookies), are used for login authentication. This practice meets FEMA guidelines as stated in the CIO Guidance Memorandum 01-XX Draft.
  • The user will be notified by email of the final import success or failure.
The email message will contain a URL. The user will click on the URL which takes them to the Bulk Import Utility Login. After the user logs in and their account is authenticated, a file download box will be displayed. The user must specify to save the file to the hard drive. Winzip is necessary to extract the log files. The log files contain processing and validation information and should be rviewed by the user to verify import results.
Below are sections which provide additional information on Browser Versions and Settings.

 

Keep Alive Frame
If the PC has frames enabled, the lower frame is used as a dialup "keep alive." Some ISP's will terminate your connection if you are inactive for a period of time. The keep alive function will transmit some http traffic every 30 seconds in an attempt to keep the connection alive.
Also in this frame, when the file transfer is complete the message "Upload Status Successful" or "Upload Status Unsuccessful" will be displayed. A brief summary lists the name of the file uploaded, the file length (amount of records, not incidents), the file name as logged in the system, and the state for which the file was processed. A separate email including the validation log files will be sent to the address the user entered in the Bulk Import Utility submission form.

 

Additional information on Browser Versions and Settings
Internet Explorer Users: To verify the browser version, open Internet Explorer. Under the Help menu, select About Internet Explorer. The version number will be included in the information that is displayed. To upgrade to Internet Explorer 5.5, click on the Upgrade Information link in the About Internet Explorer window. Locate the appropriate upgrade for the PC.
 

 

To verify or change settings for Session Cookies:
  1. Open the Internet Explorer browser. Under the Tools menu, select Internet Options. Click on the Security Tab.
  2. In the "Select a web content zone to verify its security settings" area, highlight the Internet icon.
  3. Click on the Custom Settings button. The Security Settings window will be displayed.
  4. Locate the Cookies section, specifically Allow per session cookies (not Stored) options.
  5. Verify Enable is selected.
Netscape Users: To verify the browser version, under the Help menu, select About Netscape Communicator. The version number will be included in the information that is displayed. Netscape users can check for upgrades by clicking on the My Netscape icon on the browser, and clicking on the Downloads link. Locate the appropriate upgrade for the PC.

 

To verify or change settings for Session Cookies:
  1. Open the Netscape Communicator browser. Under the Edit menu, select Preferences. Click on the Security Tab.
  2. In the Category hierarchy, highlight Advanced.
  3. Locate the Cookies section at the right and verify Accept all cookies is selected.
  4. Click OK.
Completion and Notification of the Import Processing:
As of March 26, 2004, a new method of receiving log files was implemented and is outlined as follows:
  1. The email message sent to the Bulk Import Utility user notifies them the processing has been performed, and the email will contain a URL.
  2. The user will click on the URL which will take the user to the Bulk Import Utility Login page.
  3. The user will enter their login information and their account will be authenticated. A file download box will be displayed.
  4. The user must specify to save the file to the computer. The filename will include a long, numeric identifier, as it did prior to March 26, 2004.
  5. The zipped file will be downloaded and saved to the PC. Close the download box.
  6. To extract and review the files, locate and double click on the file. The Winzip program is necessary for this operation. All log files for an upload session (maximum: 30 files) will be included in the single, zipped file.
Users who have been assigned the necessary permissions and have been activated can start a BIU Import.

Why does my NFIRS account need to be reset?

NFIRS Account Reset

NFIRS accounts go inactive every 45 days and users can get locked out if they mistype or forget their password. If you need your account reset, please either email us at wfc@washingtonfirechiefs.org, or contact us by phone; 360.352.0161. 

Why won't my Windows 7 or 8 Computer run the NFIRS software?

Windows 8
Click on your Start Button
Click on all apps
Click on control panel
Click on system & security
Click on system
Click advanced systems settings
Click system performance OR performance settings
Click "adjust for best performance"
Click apply
Close the control panel

NOTE: This will set your computer to run at best performance for ALL programs being used. If you are a "power user" and run multiple programs at the same time on a laptop while on battery power you will most likely see a drop in battery time.

When installing on Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows Vista machines the current version of NFIRS also installs two folders as read only instead of full control, which prohibits the software from running.  The following instructions will walk you through the steps to change these settings.

Changing the NFIRS Software Read Only Permissions to Full Control on Windows Vista, 7 & 8 Computers

Make all changes to the computer outlined in the email first, then:

Click on Start
Click on Computer (Win 7 & Windows Vista) OR Libraries (Win 8)
Double Click on your C Drive ( C: )
Double Click on Program Files(x86) for Windows 7 & 8 OR Program Files For Windows Vista.
Double Click on NFIRSv594
Right click on the CACHE folder and select the properties option.
Click on the tab labeled Security.
Find the line that says “Users (Your Computer Name\Users)” under the “Group or user names” area and click on it to highlight it.
Click on edit button.
On this “permissions screen” find the line that says “Users (Your Computer Name\Users)” under the “Group or user names” area and click on it to highlight it. (Please note though the step is similar to the one before, it is a different screen)
On the permissions area make sure Full Control is checked under the allow column.
Click on apply and make sure the information is saved.
Click ok and exit the pop up screens. This takes you back to the main list of folders in the NFIRSv594 directory.
Right click on the LOGS folder and select the properties option.
Click on the tab labeled Security.
Find the line that says “Users (Your Computer Name\Users)” under the “Group or user names” area and click on it to highlight it.
Click on edit button.
On this “permissions screen” find the line that says “Users (Your Computer Name\Users)” under the “Group or user names” area and click on it to highlight it. (Please note though the step is similar to the one before, it is a different screen)
On the permissions area make sure Full Control is checked under the allow column.
Click on apply and make sure the information is saved.
Click ok and exit the pop up screens. This takes you back to the main list of folders in the NFIRSv594 directory.
Close all of the open windows.
Start the NFIRS Software.

Windows 8 users should go to the Windows 8 “Start” screen and type NFIRS. This will retrieve the NFIRS Application so you can click on the DET Icon and start the software. You can also “Pin” the DET Icon to the Start Screen.