More information

"Prisons and Jails" report (PDF, 95 KB)

Fact sheet
"Prison and Jail Fires" fact sheet (PDF, 70 KB)

Related information

NFPA members
Selected published articles and investigation reports on prison and jail fires from NFPA Journal or its predecessor Fire Journal.

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Report: NFPA's "Prisons and Jails"
Author: Jennifer D. Flynn
Issued: March 2010

Overview of the fire problem in prisons and jails, including trend tables, causes, time of day, day of week, month of year and area of origin. A collection of previously published incident descriptions are included. 


NFPA estimates that an average of 590 structure fires in prisons and jails per year were reported to U.S. fire departments during 2003-2007. These fires caused an estimated average of 37 civilian injuries and $2.0 million in direct property damage per year. There were no reported civilian deaths in these facilities. One of every four fires in these properties was intentionally set, which was the leading cause of civilian fire injuries and direct property damage.