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May 16, 2011 -
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According to National Fire Protection Association statistics on fires in educational properties, including preschool through high school as well as colleges and adult education centers and day -care centers, in the 2003-2006 data sample the greatest percentage of fires (73 percent) occurred in nursery schools through high schools. This was followed by 11 percent that occurred in college classroom buildings or adult education centers.
In the preschool through high school building sector, the leading causes of fire were trash fires, arson and cooking equipment. The area of origin was most commonly a trash receptacle, followed by a kitchen or cooking area and bathrooms. The peak times for fire were weekdays between 11 am and 2 pm.
In this 2006 dataset, 34 percent of the structure fires happened in buildings with automatic suppression systems in place, made up primarily of sprinkler systems. In these fires, the fire suppression systems successfully operated in 93 percent of the cases. When the systems failed to operate it was due to the system being shut off (48 percent) or other "manual intervention which defeated the system" in 33 percent of the cases.
Source: Structure Fires in Educational Properties