This year, Arson Awareness Week begins Monday 20 March and Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service, together with the Arson Prevention Forum, are calling on everyone to play their part in tackling fire crime.
Lee Howell, Chair of the Arson Prevention Forum, said:
“Deliberate fires account for up to a third of all fires attended by fire and rescue services nationally and can have devastating effects in terms of cost and consequences.
“The Forum brings together those with a responsibility or interest in reducing arson and challenges them to do more. We have seen progress, but there is still work to be done. This is where members of the public can help.”
Insurers report that arson costs over £1bn in fire-related claims each year. Damage to property, business interruption and other inconvenience caused by arson is significant. Deliberate fires cost a huge amount of money, but also endanger life, with a significant number of lives lost as a result of arson. In 2015-16, 57 people died in fires that were thought to be started deliberately.
Mark Ducie, Community Safety Manager from Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service, said:
“Arson is a significant drain on Fire & Rescue resources and can put lives in danger, destroy buildings and be devastating. Arson must be reported – it destroys lives and costs a lot of time, money and effort. If you see anyone setting a fire deliberately, don't accept it, report it!”
If you see fire-setting or suspicious activity, you should report it to the Police. Videos or photos from members of the public of any suspicious activity around fires are particularly useful to Police and Fire Arson Investigators.