"Risk analysis is determining the probability of a hazard occurring and the potential severity of such an occurrence. Risk probability is expressed in a number such as 1 fire per every 1,000 structures or 1 death per every 10,000 population, etc. The fire problem can be identified only through the use of a good data reporting system that analyzes the community's problems. To determine risk for fires, casualties, and losses in the community it is necessary to ask the questions who, what, when, where, and why? Data collected from previous years are compared with current data to determine trends. Is the risk increasing or decreasing? When these data have been collected, risk analysis can begin."
Coffee Break Training - Fire Prevention and Public Education Series No. FM-2011-7
United States Fire Administration: http://www.usfa.fema.gov/