Arson Awareness Week May 2-8
2004 ARSON AWARENESS WEEK - MAY 2-8
The theme for this year's Arson Awareness Week is "Juvenile Firesetting: The Preventable Arson". The United States Fire Administration (USFA) and the International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI) sponsor Arson Awareness Week.
The crime of arson has the highest rate of juvenile involvement of all other crimes with 55% of all arson arrests in the U.S. are children under 18 with nearly half of these age 15 or less with more than 5% under age 10. Juvenile arson and youth set fires results in over 300 deaths and 2,000 injuries annually and $300 million in property damage and more than 40,000 incidents annually.
The price that America pays for youth-set fires is extreme. Most of the lives lost are those of the very children setting the fires. In addition to the cost of the damaged property, there is the cost to the community of the increasing resources needed to fight the problem.
Fire in the hands of children destroys - regardless of a child's age or motivation.
Youth Firesetting IS NOT a fire problem... it IS a kid problem! In addition to fire departments, communities must involve the police department, mental health professionals, school system, children's hospitals, social services and the media.
If people can become more informed, along with communities having intervention and treatment programs for juvenile firesetters, strides can be made in this very preventable malfeasance.
Juvenile Firesetters continue to account for a disproportionate share of arson arrests according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and USFA National Fire Data Center statistics and the Federal Bureau of Investigations Uniform Crime Report.
The major goals of Arson Awareness Week are:
• To create a national recognition, awareness and understanding of the youth firesetting and juvenile arson problem in the United States.
• To encourage communities to get involved in the dissemination of arson awareness information by creating a simple, identifiable and unifying message for juvenile firesetting intervention and prevention.
• Organize local events that raise a community's awareness of youth firesetting and juvenile arson issues.
• Engage national, regional and local media outlets in delivering the message.
USFA has designed a media kit which includes brochures, new press releases, arson statistics and supporting area awareness events throughout the country. We are very optimistic about this year's campaign and think it will be one of the best to date.
For more information contact USFA