Statistical Reports: School and University Fires

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Topical Fire Report Series

The National Fire Data Center's Topical Fire Report Series explores facets of the U.S. fire problem that affect Americans in their daily lives. Primarily based on data collected through USFA's National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS), each issue briefly addresses the nature and relevance of the specific fire or fire-related problem, highlights important findings, and suggests other resources to consider for further information. Each topical report also includes recent examples of fire incidents that demonstrate some of the issues addressed in the report.

New: University Housing Fires

Findings from this report:

  • An estimated 3,800 university housing fires occur each year in the United States.
  • Eighty-eight percent of university housing fires are cooking fires. Small, confined cooking fires account for 81 percent of university housing fires. However, cooking fires comprise only 9 percent of nonconfined university housing fires.
  • University housing fires occur most frequently in the late summer and fall, peaking in September at 12 percent. Fires in September, October, and November account for 33 percent of all fires throughout the year.
  • The leading causes of nonconfined university housing fires are intentional (16 percent), other unintentional or careless actions (12 percent), open flame (11 percent), and other heat (10 percent).
  • Smoke alarms were present in 85 percent of nonconfined fires in occupied university housing.

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