The United States Fire Administration has announced the theme for the 2013 Arson Awareness Week (AAW): Reducing Residential Arson. The goal is to provide the public with strategies to combat arson in their neighborhoods.
According to the USFA’s National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) from 2008 through 2010, an estimated 16,800 intentionally set residential fires 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.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) 2011 Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) statistics showed that 14,717 law enforcement agencies reported 43,412 arsons. Arsons involving single occupancy and other residential structures accounted for 29.3 percent (12,720) of the total number of arson offenses.
Preliminary FBI UCR data from the first six months of 2012 shows an increase in arson offenses for the first time in six years.
The public can be engaged in Arson Awareness Week by implementing neighborhood clean-ups along with improving internal and external security for their homes and abandoned properties.
For more information and a free media kit for your 2013 Arson Awareness Week campaign, visit www.usfa.fema.gov/aaw.