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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.

From 2009-2013, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 5,100 structure fires in educational properties, annually, which accounts for 1% of all structure fires. These fires caused an annual average of one civilian death, 79 civilian fire injuries and $88 million in direct property damage. 

School Safety, Codes and Security Workshop

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 
  • An estimated 650 structure fires per year were reported in college classrooms and adult education centers (13%), while an average of 580 structure fires (11%) was reported annually in day care centers.
  • Intentionally set fires were the leading cause of fires in educational properties taken as a whole, accounting for nearly two of five of fires in these properties (38%).
  • Almost 30% of the fires in educational properties began in a lavatory or locker room, while 20% of fires began in a kitchen or cooking area.  

Source: NFPA's "Educational Properties," report
Also see: Fact sheet on school fires. (PDF, 24 KB)

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