Home » Fire Service News » CAL FIRE Announces Arson Awareness Week

CAL FIRE Announces Arson Awareness Week

Logo of the United States Fire Administration,...

Logo of the United States Fire Administration, a part of FEMA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Public urged to Report Suspicious Activity

CAL FIRE Investigator at work.

Sacramento –While encouraging
wildfire preparedness this week, CAL FIRE is also reminding residents of
the dangers posed by arson. CAL FIRE is pleased to join the United
States Fire Administration
(USFA) in announcing the theme for the 2013
Arson Awareness Week: Reducing Residential Arson. The goal for this
year’s Arson Awareness Week, which takes place May 5-11, 2013, is to
provide all residents with strategies to combat arson in their
neighborhoods.

According to the USFA’s National Fire Incident Reporting System
(NFIRS) during 2008-2010, an estimated 16,800 intentionally set fires in
residential buildings occur annually in the United States. These fires
result in an estimated 280 deaths, 775 injuries, and $593 million in
property loss each year. The average dollar loss for an intentionally
set fire in a residential building is $21,320. The fatality rate for
intentionally set residential fires was more than twice that of other
residential building fires.

“Arson fires rob neighborhoods and communities of valuable assets
such as lives, property and natural resources”, stated CAL FIRE
Assistant Deputy Director Clare Frank. “Residents can do a lot to
prevent arson by safeguarding their homes and keeping a watchful eye on
their neighborhood.”

What can I do to prevent my home against arson?

  • Illuminate exterior and entrances to your home.
  • Install motion-activated lights on all sides of the house. These are relatively inexpensive.
    Clear all obstructions. Trim or remove brush that blocks the view of a home from the street.
  • Install smoke alarms and fire sprinkler systems. The combination
    of smoke alarms and home fire sprinklers reduces the likelihood of
    death from a fire. This is the most effective fire loss prevention and
    reduction measurement.
    Keep doors and windows locked. A simple locked door could be the
    deterrent that saves a home from arson.
  • Clean your yard. Remove excess of piles of leaves or vegetation
    and clean around your house and garage to remove unused paper, trash,
    cans of paint or other materials.
  • Clean up vacant homes. Make sure to secure abandoned and vacant
    homes. Keep doors and windows locked or boarded up with plywood. Remove
    any abandoned vehicles. Make sure all utilities are disconnected.

Whether it is a wildland fire or a house fire, investigators need
your help. The public is encouraged to call the CAL FIRE Arson Hotline,
1-800-468-4408, if suspicious activity is observed. Details, such as
a description of suspicious people and vehicles are very helpful to
investigators. Rewards of up to $10,000 are available for information
leading to an arrest and conviction of persons responsible for
committing the crime of arson within State jurisdiction.

For more information and resources for the 2013 Arson Awareness Week campaign, visit www.usfa.fema.gov/aaw.

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