Strategies to combat fires in Arson Awareness Week
KANNAPOLIS – Each year the United States Fire Administration (USFA) dedicates a week for the national recognition, awareness and understanding of one of our nation’s most dangerous and costly threats to people and property – arson. Arson Awareness Week 2013 is May 5-11 and the theme is “Reducing Residential Arson.” The goal of this year’s campaign is to provide residents with strategies to combat arson in their neighborhoods.
According to the USFA, there are more than 16,000 intentionally set fires in homes across the United States each year. These fires result in an estimated 300 deaths, 700 injuries and $500 million in direct property damage.
Arson is defined as the malicious burning of another’s occupied home or property. This type of illegal activity robs communities of valuable assets, lives and property. 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.
What are some of the motivating factors associated with arson?
Curiosity - A misuse of fire that is most often associated with juveniles.
Vandalism – Malicious mischief that may be associated with boredom, peer pressure, or even gang activity.
Concealing another Crime – Misuse of fire used to mask another crime such as burglary, larceny or murder.
Excitement – Most of these fires are nuisance fires but can escalate to home fires.
Revenge – The setting of a fire in retaliation for an actual or perceived injustice.
Insurance Fraud/Arson for Profit – A criminal method of obtaining money from a fire loss policy.
To reduce the opportunity for arson in your neighborhood, citizens are encouraged to illuminate the exterior and entrances of their homes, clear obstructions such as bushes or shrubbery, keep doors and windows locked, clean around the home including raking leaves and removing trash, as well as securing abandoned and vacant homes. For more arson prevention tips citizens are urged to visit www.usfa.com.
The Kannapolis Fire Department reminds the community that by working together, everyone can help prevent arson of all types, and protect the safety of our community, property and lives.