"Match and lighter fires are analyzed together because of their similar uses, easy availability, and universal recognition as fire ignition sources. While they are grouped for the purposes of this report, the characteristics of lighter fires are different from those of match fires. Only 19% of all fires ignited by lighters and matches occurred in residential structures in 2002. These fires, however, account for approximately 80% of all fatalities, 76% of all injuries, and 68% of all property loss resulting from lighter and match fires. Injurious and costly, residential structure fires require focused analysis when investigating the lighter− and match−ignited fire problem. Based on NFIRS [National Fire Incident Reporting System] data, lighters and matches were responsible for 5% of the residential structure fire problem in the United States during 2002. Lighters and matches ignited an estimated 20,200 fires, which killed 276 people, injured 1,445 more, and destroyed $322 million in property. Lighters ignited nearly 57% of lighter− or match− ignited residential structure fires."
U.S. Fire Administration: http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/
Topical Fire Report Series (October 2004), v.4 no.2