Lessons Learned From Arson-Related Fires

Communities across the U.S. are experiencing a rash of arson-related fires, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). This trend was addressed during the U.S. Fire Administration’s (USFA) recent National Arson Awareness Week (May 1–7), and lessons learned from arson incidents were shared during the event.

According to the USFA’s Website (http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/fireservice/subjects/arson/arson_awareness.shtm), administrators, managers and government officials must build coalitions and implement proposed initiatives and solutions to arson. They should also “take advantage of every available opportunity to use forums and communication channels, such as the news media, public safety events, community meetings, neighborhood watch meetings, and arson awareness and fire prevention week campaigns.”

Key recommendations that businesses can take to fight back against arsonists include:

  • Contacting the local fire or police department if you know about or suspect an arson crime
  • Report suspicious activity to your local fire or police department
  • Keep leaves and debris away from buildings
  • Support Neighborhood Watch programs.
  • The bottom line: If you see something, say something.

The USFA also recommends that businesses implement an arson risk assessment that includes analyzing your office’s vulnerability by examining your building and what goes on within it, as well as what is around it. Other advices include:

  • Note possible ways in which fires could be started deliberately
  • Identify susceptible areas inside and outside buildings
  • Remove items such as flammable liquids and gases and combustible materials, including trash, furnishings, and other combustible elements of the structure.

For more information about arson and arson prevention, read the full articles: 
www.usfa.fema.gov/aaw/
and
http://www.allbusiness.com/crime-law/criminal-offenses-property/15587105-1.html
and
http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/media/press/2011releases/033111.shtm