Arson Prevention

What is it and is their a community safety link?

courtesy of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service

Arson, fire-raising or fire-setting is the deliberate act of setting fire to property. In terms of community safety, as well as the loss of property, there is the obvious danger physical danger caused by the criminal act and there is a close link between arson and types of anti social behaviour associated with vandalism. There is also a close link between areas prone to arson and crime and drugs misuse hotspots.

Considerable work in reducing the incidence of deliberate fire setting has been undertaken by Fire Services in the UK. This has often been done in conjunction with local authorities and local Community Safety Partnerships. From the statistics printed below it will be seen that arson has rapidly decreased from its high point of 2001-02.

The sharp decline in the major type of arson (arson to road vehicles) can be partly attributed to the increasing scrap value of motor vehicles (making it less likely that they will be abandoned and therefore subject to arson). However, the campaigns of Fire Services and local authorities to remove abandoned vehicles from the streets has undoubtedly made a significant contribution to this reduction.

In recent years there has been a significant reduction in Fire Service community safety campaigns. The latest national statistics shows that time spent on community fire safety campaigns and initiatives has declined by 9 per cent between 2012-13 and 2013-14.

Fire and Rescue Authorities carried out 67,266 Fire Safety audits in 2013-14 (5per cent of premises known to the authorities). These audits resulted in over 20,000 informal and formal enforcement actions being taken.

Arson Weblinks

Arson Control Forum

Website of the Arson Control Forum which aims to "...achieve a sustained reduction in the number of deliberate fires and related deaths, injuries and property damage." in the UK.

Reducing Arson

London Fire Brigade web page

Tackling Fire: a call for action

Association of British Insurers 12 point Fire Policy Action plan.

Code of Practice for the Protection of Empty Buildings: fire safety and security

Guide for those responsible for any empty premises. It is aimed at buildings which are temporarily empty and are still seen by the owners as having a viable future. It also provides guidance that may be applied to buildings whose future is less certain.

Arson Prevention for Small Businesses

Guide produced by the UK Arson Prevention Bureau.

Arson Prevention for Farms and the Countryside

Guide Produced by the UK Arson Prevention Bureau

Updated May 2015