We examine the effect of pulse duration on both density and morphology of laser-induced damage in KDP and SiO2. In both materials the density of damage sites scales with pulse duration to the ~ 0.4 power for 351-nm pulses between 1 and 10 ns. In SiO2 three types of damage sites are observed. The sizes of the largest of these sites as well as the size of KDP damage sites scale approximately linearly with pulse duration. Similarities of damage in very different materials points to properties of laser-induced damage which are material independent and give insight to the underlying physics of laser-induced damage.© (2006) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.