USFA: 94% of University Fires Start in Dorms

WASHINGTON – More than nine out of 10 (94 percent) university housing fires occur in dormitories and dormitory-type residences, and 6 percent occur in fraternity and sorority houses, according to a report released Nov. 12 by The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) United States Fire Administration (USFA).

University Housing Fires, was developed by the National Fire Data Center and is a part of the USFA’s Topical Fire Report Series. An estimated average of 3,800 fires occurs each year in university dwellings. Annually, these fires are also responsible for five deaths, 50 civilian injuries, and $26 million in property loss. This report is based on 2005 to 2007 data from the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS).

According to the report, university housing fires peak in September and October and are most frequent in the evening hours from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. when students prepare snacks or cook meals. Cooking fires account for 83 percent of all university housing fires and is the leading cause. Confined cooking fires, those confined to the container, account for 77 percent of all university housing fires.

To read the full report, click here.

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