USFA Releases Special School Fires Report

The U.S. Fire Administration has issued a special School Fires report, developed by the National Fire Data Center, that explores the causes and characteristics of school fires. As part of the Topical Fire Research Series that is based on 2003-2005 National Fire Incident Reporting System data, the report looks at all school fires, including those occurring outdoors on school property, and compares such characteristics with those of school structure fires

"This week marks the return of many students to schools across this nation as well as the start of National Preparedness Month," said USFA Administrator Greg Cade. "Fires in buildings as special as our nation's schools are unacceptable. I ask all first responders to encourage students, families, and school faculty members to take the time to know exactly what they will do in the event of any type of school emergency, including fire."

According to the report, the leading cause of school structure fires is incendiary or suspicious activity (32%), followed by cooking (29%), and heating (9%). Fires in preschool and day cares are predominantly due to cooking, whereas incendiary or suspicious activity is the leading cause of middle and high school structure fires. The three leading areas of fire origin in school structure fires include restrooms, kitchens, and general assembly areas.

To view the report, visit www.usfa.dhs.gov/downloads/pdf/tfrs/v8i1.pdf.

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