Report: NFPA's "Public Assembly Properties (Excluding Eating & Drinking Establishments and Religious and Funeral Properties)"
Author: Jennifer D. Flynn
Issued: February 2007

Overview of the fire problem in public assembly properties (excluding eating and drinking and religious funeral properties), including trend tables, causes, time of day, day of week, month of year and area of origin.


Although fatal fires in public assembly properties are relatively rare, the potential life safety hazard is high. In 2000-2004, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated annual average of 4,910 reported fires in public assembly properties, excluding eating and drinking establishments and religious and funeral properties. These fires caused an average of 1 civilian death, 52 civilian fire injuries, and $94.3 million in direct property damage per year. Fires in these properties accounted for 0.9% of all structure fires during the same time period. These estimates are based on data from the U.S. Fire Administration’s (USFA) National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) and the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) annual fire department experience survey. The leading area of origin was in the kitchen or cooking area when combined with confined cooking fires and the leading item first ignited was rubbish or trash when combined with contained trash and rubbish fires. Outside fires were more than twice as common as structure fires on these properties. Eating and drinking establishments and religious and funeral properties have been excluded from this analysis and are examined separately.