According to a new NFPA report called "Children Playing With Fire", an average of 56,300 child-playing fires are reported to U.S. municipal fire departments per year (2005-2009). These fires caused annual averages of 110 civilian deaths, 880 civilian injuries, and $286 million in property damage.
The fires included:
- 25,100 outside or unclassified fires
- 17,900 outside trash or rubbish fires
- 12,500 structure fires
- 900 vehicle fires
The NFPA report says that younger children were more likely to set fires in homes, while older children and teenagers are more likely to set fires outside. In addition, males were are more likely to engage in fire-play than females, as 83% of home structure fires and 93% of outside or unclassified fires were set by boys when age was coded as a factor.
Lighters were the heat source in half (50%) of child-playing fires in homes, and 40% of child-playing home fires began in a bedroom.