The Wilmington Fire Department would like to notify area residents that May 3-9, 2009 is National Arson Awareness Week.
The average dollar loss for all types of arson was $17,289. For structures, arson damages were $32,364 on average and $7,890 for motor vehicles. Arsons of industrial and manufacturing structures resulted in the highest average dollar losses – an average of $114,699 per arson. The US Fire Administration’s (USFA) National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) states the two leading causes of civilian deaths are arson, at 28 percent, and smoking at 18 percent.
Financial gain is one of the main motives for arson. Insurance companies are monitoring the current mortgage crisis and fear it incites arson by the plethora of homeowners headed down the road to foreclosure.
Arson affects everyone through the loss of life, increased insurance premiums and related expenses for the fire and law enforcement professionals. Arson for profit can only be curtailed by a collaborative effort and cooperation of fire investigators, law enforcement, insurance professionals, and the legal system.
Click here to view tips on arson prevention from the United States Fire Administration.
For additional information on the crime of arson, contact the Wilmington Fire Department’s Fire and Life Safety Division at (910) 343-0696.
To report arson, call 1-800-334-3000.
Click here to learn more about the Fire & Life Safety Division of the Wilmington Fire Department.