"Establishing risk-reduction priorities is based on factual data. The decisionmaking process must be based on local data and trends. Experiential information is important, but it should be used to supplement data rather than replace them. It is important to zero in on the highest risk populations. Groups affected directly by the risk must be involved in deciding the course of action to be taken to address the problem. All potential impacts to community systems, property, and people must be considered. Ultimately, decisions are made based on the community's acceptable level of risk."
Coffee Break Training - Fire Prevention and Public Education Series No. FM-2011-9
United States Fire Administration: http://www.usfa.fema.gov/