Working to Extinguish Serial Arson

By: TFD Press Release
By: TFD Press Release

[UPDATE] May 5, 2011


May 5, 2011

Today at 10am, the State Fire Marshal’s Office and the Tallahassee Fire Department paused to bring awareness to Arson Awareness Week.

Arson Awareness Week started this past Sunday and
will continue until May 7.

This year’s theme is Working Together to Extinguish Serial Arson. “It
takes a team effort between fire, law enforcement and the State Fire Marshal’s Office to bring these arsonist to justice and especially the serial arsonist” Said Tallahassee Fire Chief Cindy Dick.

The goal for this year’s Arson Awareness Week (AAW) is to focus attention on serial arsonists and provide law enforcement, the fire service, and communities with tools and tactics to prevent arson in their city and towns. “A serial arsonist can paralyze a community with fear,” said Glenn Gaines, Deputy United States Fire Administrator. “Each fire feels like a personal assault. Banding
together as partners strengthens our resolve and can bring law enforcement, the fire service, and
the public together to more effectively fight the crime of arson.”

Chief Joe Stedman from the State Fire Marshal’s Office stated that Florida is above the national average for arrests made in arson cases and credited the great working relationship between local,
state and federal agencies. Gina Smith from FACAP (Florida Advisory Committee on Arson Prevention) was on hand to talk about the benefit of having a reward system in place to assist law
enforcement with anonymous tips regarding arson cases. You can learn more about FACAP at

Serial arson is defined as an offense committed by fire setters who set three or more fires with a significant cooling off period between the fires. These types of fires are plaguing many rural and urban communities causing significant loss of life and millions of dollars in property damage, adding to the suffering already caused by the current economic climate.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) reports that from 2009 – 2010 there were 88 reported serial arson incidents with an aggregate monetary loss of $4.8 million. Arson in residential dwellings accounted for 49 percent of these incidents. The National Fire Protection Association reports that in 2007, three firefighters died and 6,100 were injured during response to intentionally set fires.

According to the USFA’s National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) data, from 2004 to 2006 an estimated 210,300 intentionally set fires occurred each year in the United States. Intentionally set fires account for 13 percent of fires responded to by fire departments across the Nation. These fires resulted in an average of approximately 375 deaths, 1,300 injuries, and $1.06 billion in property loss each year.

For more information regarding the 2011 Arson Awareness Week, go to


Tallahassee, FL - Please join us in recognition of Arson Awareness Week at the Tallahassee Fire Department Station 4 located at 2899
West Pensacola Street. The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m.
on May 5th with refreshments being provided by the
Florida Advisory Committee on Arson Prevention.


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