Dormitories, fraternities, sororities, and barracks

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Report: NFPA's "Structure Fires in Dormitories, Fraternities, Sororities and Barracks"
Author: Richard Campbell
Issued: August 2016

The annual number of fires in dormitories, fraternities, sororities and barracks reported to U.S. fire departments has been substantially higher in recent years than any time prior to 2000. Cooking equipment was involved in the vast majority of fires in these properties. Fires in dormitories, fraternities, sororities, and barracks are more common during the evening hours and on weekends.

Report highlights

  • In 2010-2014, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated annual average of 3,970 structure fires in dormitories, fraternities, sororities, and barracks. 
  • These fires caused annual averages of 1 civilian death, 35 civilian injuries, and $15 million in direct property damage.   
  • 86% of the reported structure fires involved cooking equipment. The vast majority of fires were specifically reported as contained or confined to cooking equipment.
  • Structure fires in dormitories, fraternities, sororities, and barracks are more common during the evening hours between 5 p.m. and 11 p.m., and on weekends.
Leading causes of fires, civilian injuries and direct property damage in dormitory type properties, 2010-2014