USFA Announces the 2015 Arson Awareness Week Theme

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

The United States Fire Administration (USFA) is pleased to announce the theme for the 2015 Arson Awareness Week: Accelerant Detection Canines — Sniffing Out Arson.

USFA and its partners – State Farm Arson Dog Program; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms, and Explosives; International Association of Arson Investigators; National Association of State Fire Marshals; National Volunteer Fire Council; National Fire Protection Association; Coalition Against Insurance Fraud; and the Insurance Committee for Arson Control – will use the week of May 3-9 to focus on the value and contributions accelerant detection canines make to fire departments, law enforcement agencies, and their communities.

The canines assist in closing arson cases and act as a deterrent resulting in a reduction of the arson problem. The canines can cover an entire fire scene in 30 minutes, which could take an investigator an entire day. An accelerant detection canine locates more accurate evidence samples, reducing the amount of costly analysis by the laboratory. Therefore, the dog saves the department and community both time and money.

"Arson is a heinous crime and especially difficult to prosecute," said Deputy U.S. Fire Administrator Glenn A. Gaines. “We owe it to our investigators and to the public to help them with the most effective tools available to battle this dangerous and costly crime.”

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there were about 17,400 intentionally set fires in homes each year during 2010-2012. These fires caused 275 deaths, 800 injuries, and $513 million in property damage and loss. During this same timeframe, there were 9,000 intentionally set fires in commercial buildings. These fires resulted in $282 million in property damage and loss.

For more information and resources regarding the 2015 Arson Awareness Week, go to www.usfa.fema.gov/aaw.

For more details about the Fire/Arson and Explosion Investigation Curriculum or any of the other courses offered at the National Fire Academy, go to www.usfa.fema.gov/nfa.

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