Calculating the OVAP Score for an Occupancy

The Hazard Tab for an Occupancy is present for VISION accounts only.

The Occupancy Hazards tab contains settings and data for calculating an Occupancy Vulnerability Assessment Profile (OVAP) score. The OVAP score is a way to analyze and categorize the risk present in a particular occupancy.

1. Click the Occupancy tab. 

2. Click on any Occupancy in the Grid View.

3. Click on Hazards Tab.

Hazard Tab Fields:


  • Number of Employees: Total number of people employed by the business.  This is a data collection point only and does not affect the OVAP Score.
  • Avg. Exposure Separation (ft): The distance, in feet, to the nearest building.
  • Number of Floors: Number of stories present in Occupancy.
  • Square Footage: Number of total square feet (ft2) for Occupancy.
  • Property Value: Indicate that which best represents the value of this property to the community. The number of employees and sales revenue should be considered when trying to differentiate between a business loss, moderate economic or severe economic impact. Also consider those businesses with few employees and small storefronts that generate a large amount of sales tax revenue. Information can be obtained from Community Development and Economic Development representatives for your jurisdiction.

Life Safety

  • Occupancy Load: Indicate the occupant load of the building. For buildings with more than one occupancy, indicate the occupant load of the occupancy that has the highest occupant load.
  • Occupancy Access: Indicate the appropriate number of sides that there is fire department access. This is relative to the ability to advance interior attack lines, and not the placement of apparatus. However, the ability to place an apparatus close enough to support the attack line must be considered. Most fire codes reference the ability to place fire apparatus within a certain distance of exterior walls.
  • Occupant Mobility: Indicate the mobility characteristics of the occupants relative to building height or relative to the freedom to exit the building. For buildings not normally occupied, indicate that occupant mobility is not a factor. Buildings primarily used for the storage of equipment and only occupied at times when the equipment needs servicing would be rated as Not a Factor.
  • Warning Alarm System: Indicate the appropriate installed warning alarm. For buildings with more than one occupancy, indicate no alarm system unless all occupancies are protected by a warning alarm.
  • Exits: Indicate if the existing system is conforming or non-conforming to applicable exit requirements.
  • Construction Type: Identify the type of construction. This field is linked to the Construction Type Field for the Occupancy on the Info Tab.  The Types of construction are based upon the ISO SCOPES Definition.  Although the Construction Type can be edited to match local code language, they have to be mapped to the correct ISO Construction Type in Occupancy>Settings>Construction Types (double click on the type).  This chart can be used to reference various construction types to the ISO SCOPES Definitions.




  • Regulatory Oversight: Degree of enforcement activity upon the premise.
  • Human Activity: Human activity relative to the ability to access the premise.
  • Experience: Experience refers to the frequency of incidents at this particular Occupancy. More frequent incidents equates to more familiarity with the Occupancy and slightly less risk, while less frequent incidents equate to less familiarity with the Occupancy and slightly increase risk. Reference local/regional fire statistics on an annual basis to determine shifts in frequencies for the type of occupancy.
  • Capacity to Control: The degree of difficulty that can be expected during a fire fighting activities in this building.
  • Hazard Index: The appropriate type of hazards present.
  • Fire Load: This field is linked to the Fire Load on the Prefire Plans Tab.  Any changes made in the Hazards Tab are reflected on the Prefire Plan Tab.  Select the appropriate fire load characteristics of the Occupancy. The following lists include typical Occupancies for each of the different fire load classification. The following is from the appendix in NFPA 13:

Occupancy examples in the listings as shown in the various hazard classifications are intended to represent the norm for those occupancy types. Unusual or abnormal fuel loadings or combustible characteristics and susceptibility for changes in these characteristics, for a particular occupancy, are considerations that should be weighed in the selection and classification.

Non-Combustible fire load include Occupancies with conditions similar to:

  • Churches
  • Nursing or convalescent homes
  • Clubs
  • Office, including data processing
  • Educational
  • Residential
  • Hospitals
  • Restaurant seating areas
  • Institutional
  • Theaters and auditoriums
  • Museums
  • Libraries, except large stack rooms
  • Unused attics stages and prosceniums

Limited-Combustible fire load include Occupancies with conditions similar to:

  • Automobile parking and showrooms
  • Electronic plants
  • Bakeries
  • Glass products
  • Beverage manufacturing
  • Manufacturing
  • Canneries
  • Laundries
  • Dairy products manufacturing and processing
  • Restaurant service areas

Combustible fire loads include Occupancies with conditions similar to:

  • Cereal mills
  • Paper and pulp mills
  • Chemical plants – ordinary
  • Paper process plants
  • Confectionery products
  • Piers and wharves
  • Distilleries
  • Post offices
  • Dry Cleaners
  • Printing and publishing
  • Feed mills
  • Repair garages
  • Horse stables
  • Stages
  • Leather goods manufacturing
  • Textiles manufacturing
  • Libraries – large stack room areas
  • Tire manufacturing
  • Machine shops
  • Tobacco products manufacturing
  • Metalworking
  • Wood manufacturing
  • Mercantile
  • Wood product assembly

Free-Burning fire loads include Occupancies with conditions similar to:

  • Aircraft hangers (except as governed by NFPA 409)
  • Rubber reclaiming, compounding, drying, milling, vulcanizing
  • Combustible hydraulic fluid use areas
  • Saw mills
  • Die casting
  • Textile picking, opening, blending, garnetting, and carding
  • Plywood and particle board cotton, synthetics., wool shoddy, or manufacturing burlap
  • Metal extruding
  • Printing (using inks having flash points Upholstering with plastic foams below 100F (37.9C)

Rapid-Burning fire loads include Occupancies with conditions similar to:

  • Asphalt saturating
  • Varnish and paint dipping
  • Flammable liquids spraying
  • Open oil quenching
  • Flow coating
  • Plastics processing
  • Manufactured home or modular
  • Solvent cleaning
  • Building assemblies (where finished enclosure is present and has combustible interiors)

Available Water Flow: Indicate the available fire flow for 100% fire involvement for the first floor only, in gallons per minute (GPM). The end calculation is the total amount of water that can be delivered to the building. Take into account various factors, such as multiple available hydrants and/or the water delivery method, such as tanker shuttle versus tender shuttle.

Fire Flow:  This data is from the Needed Fire Flow data calculated in the Prefire Plan Tab.  For help in calculating the Needed Fire Flow review this Knowledge Base Article: Calculating Needed Fire Flow

Fire Load Sprinklers: Indicate whether the sprinklers present meet NFPA requirements for design and maintenance.  This field is linked to the Fire Load Sprinklers Field on the Prefire Plans Tab.  Any changes made in this field on the Hazards Tab are reflected on the Prefire Plan Tab.


Risk Group:         OVAP Score:

Maximum            60+

Significant          40 - 59

Moderate            15 - 39

Low                     14 or less

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