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Safety Tip

Fire drills must be held at least once a month while school is in session. (Schools located in climates where weather is severe have the option of deferring monthly drills). See all of NFPA's school fire safety tips.

In 2007-2011, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 5,690 structure fires in educational properties, annually. These fires caused an annual average of 85 civilian fire injuries and $92 million in direct property damage.

NEW! NFPA organized the School Safety, Codes and Security Workshop, which was held in December 2014, to pause and reflect on the trends, concepts and ideas in securing the school environment from acts of violence. How these models interact with or consider the impact on fire, life safety and building codes is unclear. Learn more.

Facts & figures 

  • About three-quarters (71%) of the structure fires occurring in educational properties involve schools providing pre-school through high-school education.
  • An estimated 4,060 structure fires involving pre-school through grade 12 buildings were reported per year in 2007-2011.
  • Half of the fires in buildings that house preschool through grade 12 are intentionally set. 
  • Almost one-quarter (24%) of the structure fires in buildings that house pre-school through grade 12 were contained trash or rubbish fires.

Source: NFPA's "Educational Properties," report by Richard Campbell, September 2013.

Also see: Fact sheet on school fires. (PDF, 24 KB)

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