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Nebraska State Fire Marshal

Christopher Cantrell, State Fire Marshal

Federal Data Entry Tool (DET) - Misc


How do I get the Federal Data Entry Tool?

Go to and click on the User Section in the green bar at the top of the page. It is necessary for departments to complete the User Registration in order to download and use the software. To register, click on the User Registration link. After clicking on this link you will enter your username and password as well as contact information. Please use your FDID number or the fire department name (with no spaces, dashes, etc, e.g., nowherefd). This will make it easier to identify the department and ensure it is a legitimate registration. Be sure to change the state to NE. The password must be at least 8 characters with at least one of the characters being a number. 

Once you have registered, the account must be activated before the software can be downloaded. An email will be sent advising you of the activation. Return to the same website and click on User Login. After logging in using the same information you registered with, click on the Download Software link on the left side. Then click on either link “NFIRS 5.0 Client Version 5.4.1”. Another window will appear where you will need to click Download Now. You will then be asked where to save the file. Write down the default path or change the location of where the file will be saved to, e.g., My Documents or the Desktop, as you will need to find the file once it is downloaded. After the file has downloaded, you will need to double-click on the file to start the installation process. After the software is installed, connect to the Internet and then open the Data Entry Tool (Start-Programs-NFIRSv54-Data Entry Tool), login and enter your reports. You will be working in the online mode so the data will go directly to the federal server where the Fire Marshal’s office will be able to access the report(s).

It is possible to obtain a CD from the State Fire Marshal’s Office with the software and manuals on, especially if you have a dialup connection. It will still be necessary for you to register at before you can use the software.


I am a registered user with an active password. After successfully downloading and installing NFIRS, I was denied access to the Data Entry Tool Online.

Check the Online Access box and then click Save. Close the Configuration Tool. When you restart the Data Entry Tool, the login window for Online will be displayed. Section 2.3 in the Data Entry/Validation Tool User’s Guide provides complete information. Starting with version 5.3.1 the DET should default to the online mode.

If the error you receive states the database could not be found the problem could be that you have not downloaded the latest version, 5.3.1. Users of earlier versions are denied access to the Data Entry Tool until the download and install this version.


When I try to login I am told my account is inactive.

If you have not logged in to the DET online for 60 days, your account will be inactivated. Contact Alyssa Sanders at (402) 471-3183 or Deb Hostetler, (402) 471-9479 to reset your account. Once the account has been reactivated, you have until 0430 EST the next day to login successfully. If you login after that time, your account will be inactive again and the process will need to be repeated.


I received a message that I have exceeded the number of logins and cannot login to the DET online.

This indicates that you have tried at least 5 times to login unsuccessfully. You will need to contact Alyssa or Deb and have your account reset.


What is the difference between Offline and Online?

Offline means the user is entering their data into a Microsoft Access or other vendor's database. Working offline will require you to export your data and send it to Sean or exporting the data, changing to online mode, and then importing the data to the server. Online means the user enters the incident data directly into the National database while connected to the Internet. The State has access to all data entered by Nebraska departments on the federal server so it is necessary to send anything to the State SFM. At this time, we prefer all departments using the DET to use the online mode. We understand there are reasons that a department cannot work online. In those instances they should contact Sean for assistance in setting up the DET in offline mode.


I am trying to download the software but after being asked where to save the file nothing happens. I am running Windows XP Home version. What am I doing wrong?

The Federal Data Entry Tool will run under this version of Windows. However, the software will not install properly if you are not logged in as the administrator of your computer when it is turned on. You also should disable Norton AntiVirus and possibly firewalls as these may interfere with the program installing correctly.


I’ve successfully downloaded the software but cannot get the software installed?

The most common reasons for not being able to install the software are:

  • Are you running antivirus software?
    • If so and you receive an error about iKernel.exe, try disabling the antivirus program before installing the NFIRS software. It’s recommended the antivirus program be disabled whenever installing software.
  • Still getting the iKernel.exe error and your antivirus software is disabled or you don’t have any antivirus software?
    • If your operating system is Windows XP, you must be logged in as the administrator in order to install the software.
  • Are you using a DSL connection?
    • If so, you probably have a firewall through your DSL provider. If this is the case and you are running Windows XP, turn off the firewall in XP (Go to Start – Settings – Control Panel – Windows Firewall).


I know I am typing in the correct username and password but I keep getting an error and can’t get logged in.

The most common reason for this has been entering the full state name in the State login field instead of the two letter abbreviation, NE. Other factors could be:

  • Your account is inactive because you haven’t logged in within the last 60 days.
  • You are typing your password incorrectly.
  • You have exceeded your number of login attempts (after 5 times you will be locked out).

Contact Deb or Alyssa to reactivate your account or reset your logins.


How do I create plus one codes in the DET?

Users of the Federal Data Entry Tool may setup Plus One codes so they will appear in the Code Lookup Window. Be sure to think this through carefully though so you don’t add unnecessary codes. The steps to create a Plus One code are:

  • Log into the System Admin Tool. Click on the Other … button on the right side. Then click on the Codes button.
  • The national level code categories will appear on the left side of the window and the description on the right side. Select the parent code group in which you want to add the Plus One Code, for example 100 Incident Type.
  • Click the Edit button (not the New button). The Codes Lookup Window will appear.
  • Click on the plus sign to expand the groups until you find the code (the parent) you want to add a Plus One code under.
  • Click on the parent code to highlight, for example 111 Building Fires.
  • Click the New button. The fields at the bottom will clear and the user Group ID will be entered automatically.
  • Enter a Code Value, for example 1111.
  • Enter a Parent Code Value, for example 111.
  • Enter a Decode Value (description for the code), for example Single-Family Dwelling.
  • Leave the Status as Active.
  • Click Save. The plus signs will close. Click the plus signs again to navigate to where you added a code and you will see your Plus One code added.
  • If you should decide to delete a Plus One code you have added, login to the System Admin Tool again. Click the Other … button, and then click Codes.
  • Highlight the code to be deleted, change the status to Inactive, and then click Save. The user will be prompted to confirm the delete action, which is not reversible.
  • Click Close to exit.