Arson Awareness Week begins on Sunday. The theme of this year’s event is “Working Together to Extinguish Serial Arson,” and will aim to educate the public on the value of a collaborative effort with law enforcement, fire and emergency service departments, and the community to battle serial arsonists.
“A serial arsonist can paralyze a community with fear,” Deputy U.S. Fire Administrator Glenn Gaines said in a prepared statement. “Each fire feels like a personal assault. Banding together as partners strengthens our resolve and can bring law enforcement, the fire service, and the public together to more effectively fight the crime of arson.”
The U.S. Fire Administration has partnered 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 for the event.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) reports that from 2009 – 2010 there were 88 reported serial arson incidents with an aggregate monetary loss of $4.8 million. Arson in residential dwellings accounted for 49 percent of these incidents. The National Fire Protection Association reports that in 2007, three firefighters died and 6,100 were injured during response to intentionally set fires.
For more information regarding the 2011 Arson Awareness Week, go to www.usfa.fema.gov/aaw/.