"Community risk reduction can best be defined as measures taken by a community to reduce the impact of risk. Educating the public, passing laws pertaining to fire safety, and enforcing fire codes have been used since colonial days to manage fire risk. In recent years, the role of emergency services has extended beyond just fire risk to a more comprehensive all-hazard approach. Historically in the United States, prevention activities have not been embraced by emergency responders who believe they were hired to fight fires and not prevent them. However, in times of limited resources, how we do business is being questioned. Firefighting in many communities is a rare event and medical emergencies have become the predominant function. More emphasis is being placed on not only responding to an emergency, but what can be done to prevent the incident in the first place or once it has occurred how the impact can be reduced."
Coffee Break Training - Fire Prevention and Public Education Series No. FM-2011-1
United States Fire Administration: http://www.usfa.fema.gov/