Wednesday , 22 November 2017

McKinney Fire Department Supporting National Arson Week

McKinney Fire Department Supporting National Arson Week

McKinney Fire Department Supporting National Arson Week

The McKinney Fire Department is partnering with the United States Fire Administration (USFA) and other local, state and national organizations to recognize May 1-7 as National Arson Awareness Week (AAW).

The economy, among other factors, is contributing to communities across the country experiencing an elevated number of arson-related fires. Arson causes significant loss of life and billions of dollars in property damage. Destroyed buildings can devastate a community, resulting in the decline of neighborhoods through increased insurance premiums, loss of business revenue and a decrease in property values.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) reports that from 2009 to 2010 there were 88 reported serial arson incidents in the United States, with an estimated loss of $4.8 million. Arson in residential dwellings accounted for 49 percent of these incidents.

According to the USFA, from 2004 to 2006 an estimated 210,300 intentionally set fires occurred each year in the United States. These fires resulted in an average of approximately 375 deaths, 1,300 injuries, and $1.06 billion in property loss each year. The National Fire Protection Association reports that in 2007, three firefighters died and 6,100 were injured during response to intentionally set fires.

As a deterrent to arsonists in your neighborhood, the McKinney Fire Department recommends these steps.

·         Keep leaves, firewood, overgrown brush and shrubbery, and other combustibles away from buildings. Never leave trash receptacles in an unsecured area.

·         Keep doors and windows locked when a building is unoccupied. Board up vacant or abandoned buildings.

·         Store all flammable liquids such as paints, gasoline and aerosols in an approved storage location, like locked cabinets, locked storage units, locked garages (preventing access to kids), etc. Also, keep away from heat sources such as furnaces.

·         Secure non-operational vehicles. “Abandoned” vehicles are a common target for arson.

·         Keep matches and lighters out of the reach and sight of young children.

·         If you know or suspect that arson was committed, contact your local fire department.

·        Encourage neighbors, homeowners’ associations, church and civic groups, and other organizations to watch vulnerable areas and write down descriptions, license plates of suspicious vehicles, and potential suspect descriptions.

 

·        If you suspect anyone is setting fires, notify the McKinney Fire Department at 972-547-2893.

“The Fire & Life Safety Education Division of the McKinney Fire Department exists as a resource for our community in many capacities. If you have questions relating to arson or other safety related topics, please call 972-547-2893, or visit our website at www.mckinneyfire.org,” said Stacie Durham, Fire & Life Safety Education Coordinator for the McKinney Fire Department.

For more information regarding the U.S. Fire Administration’s Arson Awareness Week, go to www.usfa.fema.gov/aaw.

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