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: School Building Fires (2009-2011)

Findings from this report:

  • An estimated 4,000 school building fires were reported by United States fire departments each year and caused an estimated 75 injuries and $66.1 million in property loss.
  • Fatalities resulting from school building fires were rare.
  • There was a general increase in school building fires toward the beginning and end of the academic year.
  • The three leading causes of school building fires were cooking (42 percent), intentional action (24 percent) and heating (10 percent). At 41 percent, intentional action was the leading cause of nonconfined school building fires.
  • The leading area of fire origin in nonconfined school building fires was the bathroom at 25 percent.
  • In 75 percent of school building fires, the fire spread was limited to the object of origin.
  • Smoke alarms were reported as present in 66 percent of nonconfined school building fires.

Download School Building Fires (2009-2011) » (PDF, 1.2 Mb)