SEATTLE - National Arson Awareness Week is traditionally observed the first week in May, and this year’s theme is Working Together to Extinguish Serial Arson. According to FEMA Regional Administrator Ken Murphy, the goal of this year’s Arson Awareness Week is to zero in on the horrific crime of arson, and to use the week of May 1st to the 7th to focus public attention on serial arsonists and provide law enforcement, fire and emergency service departments and communities with tools and tactics to prevent arson in their cities and towns.
“Firefighters across the country do the very best they can, but they can’t do it alone,” said Murphy. “Fighting arson effectively takes the Whole Community.”
Steps that can reduce incidents of arson include:
- Contact your local fire or police department if you know or suspect an arson crime.
- Report suspicious activity near houses or other buildings to your local fire or police department, or call 911.
- Support Neighborhood Watch programs.
- Keep leaves and flammable debris away from buildings. Don’t make it easy for an arsonist to start a fire or facilitate a fire’s spread to adjacent buildings.
- If you see something, say something.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) reports that from 2009 – 20010 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.
FEMA’s Resolve to be Ready in 2011 campaign promotes Whole Community involvement in disaster preparedness. For more information, including a media kit for the 2011 Arson Awareness Week campaign, please visit the USFA’s Web site at www.usfa.dhs.gov or www.usfa.fema.gov/aaw. For more information on the Ready Campaign and Citizen Corps, visit www.fema.gov, Ready.gov and CitizenCorps.gov. Follow FEMA online at www.twitter.com/fema, www.facebook.com/fema, and www.youtube.com/fema.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.