This week is National Arson Awareness Week

May 4, 2014

By Contributor

NEW — 6 a.m. May 4, 2014

National Arson Awareness Week is May 4-10. This year’s theme is “Vehicle arson — a combustible crime.”

Each year, fire service officials work to raise awareness of arson and provide individuals with strategies to combat arson in their communities.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, motivations behind the burning of vehicles are similar to those of other types of arson crimes. Revenge, concealing another crime, fire curiosity and insurance fraud are just a few of the motives for vehicle arson.

You can help prevent vehicle arson by following a few tips:

  • Park your car in a well-lit area.
  • Use a secure parking lot for extended periods.
  • Close all windows.
  • Remove the key from the ignition.
  • Always lock doors, trunk and tailgate.
  • Use antitheft devices.
  • Report abandoned cars to the police.
  • Do not leave valuables in plain sight.
  • Use a recovery system, such as a GPS or other tracking device.

During 2007-2011, fire departments across the nation responded to an average of 20,400 intentionally set vehicle fires. Vehicle arson is not a victimless crime. In addition to higher insurance premiums passed on to the consumer, responding firefighters are exposed to increased danger.

The goal of this year’s Arson Awareness Week is to focus on the importance of a collaborative effort between fire and emergency service departments, law enforcement, insurance companies and the justice system to help reduce the crime of vehicle arson. Eastside Fire & Rescue wants you to be aware of these statistics and what you can do to keep your community safe.

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