USFA, Partners Conducting Arson Awareness Week

"Community Arson Prevention" is the theme this year. The week begins today and continues through Saturday.

The U.S. Fire Administration has announced the theme of Arson Awareness Week 2010: Community Arson Prevention. USFA and its partners are conducting education and awareness efforts based on that theme today through Saturday.

The goal is to give communities tools and strategies to combat arson in their neighborhoods, businesses, schools, and places of worship. USFA's partners are the International Association of Arson Investigators; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; USAonWatch; the National Association of State Fire Marshals; the National Volunteer Fire Council; and the Insurance Committee for Arson Control.

"A strong neighborhood is the backbone of our cities and towns," said Kelvin J. Cochran, U.S. fire administrator. "A community arson prevention program can generate a spirit of teamwork bringing law enforcement, the fire service, and the people together to combat the crime of arson."

An estimated 316,600 arson fires are reported to fire departments in the United States annually, and they injury about 7,800 firefighters and civilians and cause an estimated $1.1 billion in direct property loss. Arsons involving structures account for 43.4 percent of arson offenses, followed by mobile property (cars, motorcycles, etc.) at 28.9 percent.

For more information, including a media kit for the 2010 Arson Awareness Week campaign, visit www.usfa.dhs.gov.

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