Arson Awareness Week is May 2-8

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Source: U.S. Fire Administration

The United States Fire Administration (USFA) announces this year’s Arson Awareness Week (AAW) theme – Community Arson Prevention. The USFA will partner with the International Association of Arson Investigators; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; USAonWatch; National Association of State Fire Marshals; National Volunteer Fire Council; and the Insurance Committee for Arson Control.

The goal for this year’s Arson Awareness Week {AAW} which takes place May 2-8 is to focus attention on the horrific crime of arson and provide communities with tools and strategies to combat arson in their neighborhoods, businesses, schools, and places of worship.

According to the USFA National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) data and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), an estimated average of 316,600 intentional fires are reported to fire departments in the United States each year causing injuries to 7,825 firefighters and civilians. In 2006, ten firefighters died as a result of arson. In addition to needless injury and death, an estimated 1.1 billion dollars in direct property loss occurs annually.

If people can be become more informed about arson prevention, along with having intervention and treatment programs for these heinous acts of burning – strides can be made in this preventable malfeasance.

Arson robs communities of its valuable assets – lives and property. Arson destroys more than buildings; it can devastate a community resulting in the decline of the neighborhood through increased insurance premiums, loss of business revenue and a decrease in property values.

Communities can develop a Watch Program; partnering with their local fire department, law enforcement, insurance providers, business leaders, churches, and local community groups. Neighborhoods can reduce the likelihood of arson occurring by promoting neighborhood watches and educating people about recognizing and reporting unusual activities along with implementing improved internal and external security for homes and businesses.

A community Arson Watch Program can put the neighbor back into neighborhood by creating a sense of cooperation. It brings the fire service, law enforcement, and the citizens together to reduce the crime of arson.

Learn more and download the Arson Awareness Week Media Kit at www.usfa.dhs.gov/fireservice/subjects/arson/arson_awareness.shtm.

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