"The objective of this study was to identify relationships between city characteristics and residential fire rates. The study analyzed data from 27 cities reporting to the United States Fire Administration's National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS). NFIRS is the largest fire data set in the country, and each year almost one million new records are added. For each city, fire rates for eight different categories of fire cause were studied, as well as the overall level of fires. The causes included fires due to arson, children playing, careless smoking, cooking, heating, electrical distribution, appliances, and open flames. In seeking to explain city-to-city variation in fire rates, we examined climate, age structure of the population, and differences in the socioeconomic status of city residents. The findings of this study are presented in comparison with the findings of previous analyses."
U.S. Fire Administration: http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/