Fire and Wildfire Analytics

BFUSA developed the Fire Data Stack to help Insurance companies manage risks ranging from individual property fire risk to large scale wildfires. Fire consistently causes more than $20B of annual loss and this number is likely to grow. After the 2017 to 2020 wildfires, Insurers are reexamining their underwriting and risk management practices; legacy tools they had been using to make decisions are no longer adequate.  

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A Better Approach 

If you are looking for new solutions for high accuracy fire and wildfire risk, you need:

  1. Proven alternatives to legacy protection class and wildfire scoring products

  2. New unique data elements such as Fire Hydrant locations and Katabatic Wind scores

  3. Higher accuracy risk identification to price more accurately and reduce uncertainty

  4. Low implementation costs

The BuildingFootprintUSA Fire Data Stack delivers on all points.  You will have an understanding of the conditions that exist for wildfire and fire risk, the probability of it happening, and the scale of potential loss. 

The Fire Data Stack

Building Footprint Geocoding

Standard geocoding today uses inconsistent standards of determining latitude and longitude for an address. BFUSA building footprints give you the highest level of accuracy and consistency in the geocoding process. Our geocoded locations are reliably placed at the center of the buildings. Starting with a hyper-accurate geocode is the start of confident underwriting.

Building Footprint Analysis

The next level of detail we can provide is the actual building shapes for detailed spatial analysis. Only our footprint inventory can tell you how many structures are on a parcel of land. Or how far the trees and vegetation are cut back from the building itself. Or how close the neighbors are to each other. You can’t do these things reliably with dots on a map.

Risk Conditions

We help you answer a progression of questions that help you understand risk.  What risks are associated with the property? What is the historic wildfire experience in the area? What are the current drought conditions? What is the overall wildfire risk score? We have curated hundreds of data attributes to answer the questions of what hazards impact the location. 


Firefighting Resources

Once you know the potential for fire to impact a property, you then want to know the ability of local firefighting resources.  With a unique database of fire hydrants, an extensive list of fire stations and their staffing, and identified local natural bodies of water, you will have the most complete picture of locally available resources to fight fire. Use these attributes individually or as part of a greater model. 

Fire Protection Class

We have two fire protection class scoring systems. The first is the Fire Protection Class from AAIS, and is built on a distance and water model.  How far are you in drive miles from the fire station and is there water — hydrants or perennial water — in close proximity to put out the fire?  The second is the Property Fire Score, which looks at how long it will take for the fire station to get there, what type of fire station is responding, and whether there is water at the location. From those factors we deliver a probable loss percentage that you can use to create rating factors.

Wildfire Model

Once you know the wildfire history, you need a predictive model to tell you the potential for future wildfire. We see current wildfire models consistently underestimating risk, proven with the increasing frequency and severity of large fires. Our partner HazardHub estimates the real wildfire risk in California is more than 30% higher than estimates from standard wildfire models. Our wildfire model has been validated by clients to be most aligned with their own claims experience. Additionally, it is an open and transparent model, not a black box. From the algorithms, to the source data, and the outputs themselves, you will be able to do with it as you see fit. Use it even to improve or build your own models. 

Take Your Analysis One Step Further

Once you have the right location, it’s possible to build on it.

One of the benefits of building footprints is how users can create a solid foundation for wildfire analysis. We have built and curated over a thousand COPE attributes


For example, at BuildingFootprintUSA™, we have appended Assessor’s data to our building footprints, allowing insurers to gain vital information about residential and commercial structures, such as Construction Type, Year Built, Square Footage, Number of Stories, and over 300 more attributes.

About Our Data

BuildingFootprintUSA™ understands that every building is important to someone.

Every building has a story to tell – the story of what it is made of, what is the ground it lies upon, who occupies it, and what outside hazards will impact it. The more about each building an Insurer knows, the more accurately the risk is understood and the more accurately it is priced.
We are creators and curators of the most geographically accurate and comprehensive data sets of building footprints for residential and commercial addresses in the United States. Our data is trusted by our customers within the Insurance industry.


U.S. Building Footprint Coverage

We started to build our proprietary database for the United States in 2015.

We built this database using more than 700 data sources, covering over 80% of the population of the United States. Every quarter we update our database using a variety of sources and techniques, including emerging technologies like artificial intelligence/computer vision.

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    LightBox acquires industry leader BuildingFootprintUSA™

    IRVINE, CA – February 1, 2021 – LightBox, a leading provider of commercial real estate data and workflow solutions, announced the acquisition of BuildingFootprintUSA™, the premier provider of building and structure boundaries for location analytics. With this acquisition, LightBox will immediately make building footprints available to its customers.

    Connecting BuildingFootprintUSA datasets to LightBox data will create the industry’s only fully integrated parcel, building structure, and property attribute datasets for comprehensive location intelligence across the commercial real estate, telecommunications, routing & logistics, and insurance markets, as well as the broader geospatial ecosystem.

    “This acquisition demonstrates our ongoing commitment to innovation that serves the commercial real estate ecosystem. We’re looking to replace existing information silos with industry standard linked datasets. Our parcels and property data will now be integrated with rooftop-level geocodes, addresses, and boundaries,” said LightBox CEO, Eric Frank. “We strongly believe the future is one of connected datasets and we want to drive this change for the commercial real estate industry in the US and Canada.”

    BuildingFootprintUSA was founded in 2016 in Albany, New York. The company serves customers of all size within commercial real estate, telecommunications, insurance, and mapping solutions with high-accuracy location data to facilitate accurate site selection, routing, spatial analysis and data visualization. Customers leverage building geometry, height, and ground elevation data to assist in determining potential flood risks, expanding broadband connectivity, policy planning for safety and security, and broader geospatial analytics.

    “Joining LightBox gives us an exciting opportunity to grow and deliver our data and solutions to a broader segment of the commercial real estate market in the US and Canada,” said Karl Urich, founder and president of BuildingFootprintUSA. “By combining our datasets with those of LightBox, we will be able to offer the most accurate boundary, address, and geocoding dataset available.”

    To learn more about how you can begin leveraging solutions that combine the best of BuildingFootprintUSA and LightBox today, please visit

    LightBox is building the world’s leading real estate information and technology platform. LightBox customers comprise all types of enterprises needing authoritative real estate data and workflow solutions, including brokers, developers, investors, lenders, insurers, environmental consultants, corporations, technology companies, and valuation professionals. LightBox is backed by Silver Lake and Battery Ventures.

    Learn More About LightBox at

    At BFUSA LightBox, we develop next-generation geolocation data centered on the built environment — where people live, work, shop, and play. Our hyper-accurate building and address data helps customers make critical decisions that are highly dependent on location. Learn more about BFUSA.

    Learn More About BFUSA