Fire Confined to Object or Room of Origin (Council Key Result Indicator #6)

Measure Description/Definition

Since measuring how many fires were prevented is nearly impossible, fire departments often evaluate how quickly fires are contained. When a fire is contained in the room it started in, fewer lives are lost and less property is damaged. Multiple factors influence this measure, including how quickly the fire is reported, the age of the structure and its furnishings, proximity to fire stations and available units, the on-duty staff available to perform critical tasks, dispatch time, training & equipment, traffic, fire protection systems and community awareness of fire prevention methods. With all of these considerations, fire responses can vary significantly each year.

Target Determination

The target was updated in 2017 based on 4-year average for department performance to be 77.48%. Previous targets were lower and based on an ICMA benchmark for cities of similar size.


The percent of structure fires that were confined to the object or room of origin decreased just slightly in the third quarter of 2017 to 75% bringing the YTD actual figure to 69%. While there were fires that caused damage to structures during this time frame, firefighters were able to contain most of the damage to the object or room where the fire started. Not only does this save property, it can also save lives.

While many factors influence this measure (age of building, when fire was reported, etc.), the fire department analyzes all responses to structure fires to identify continuous improvement opportunities. It should be noted that the target is based on the Fire Department’s own historical performance as other benchmarking numbers available through the US Fire Administration were consistently lower than our own performance.

The period between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. continues to be the busiest for fire calls. In 2016, 38% of the home fires in Olathe occurred during this period. The most common areas of the home for Olathe fires to begin are the kitchen, deck/patio/porch and attic area. The most common causes were unattended cooking and discarded smoking materials.

While we find ways to help manage risks associated with fires through our fire prevention efforts and deployment strategies, we expect fires in Olathe to continue to be a concern in the years to come.

City of Olathe 100 E. Santa Fe Street Olathe, KS 66061-3409 | 913.971.8600