“Reduce Residential Arson” is the theme of National Arson Awareness Week, May 6-11.
In unincorporated Clark County, there have been 53 cases of arson so far this calendar year, prompting 9 adult arrests and three referrals of juveniles to a youth fire-setter program. The 53 incendiary fires represent 40 percent of all County fires (130) so far.
The number of arson cases is about the same as last year. There were 52 such cases through the first four months of 2012 and 162 cases for the entirety of 2012.
Tips to reduce the number of residential arsons:
- Report suspicious activity near houses or other buildings to local police and support Neighborhood Watch programs.
- Store matches and lighters out of the reach and sight of children, preferably up high in a locked cabinet.
- Keep doors and windows locked when a building is unoccupied.
- Keep leaves, firewood, overgrown brush, shrubbery and other combustibles away from buildings. Most arson fires are started outdoors.
The U.S. Fire Administration’s National Fire Incident Reporting System estimates 16,800 intentionally set fires in residential buildings occur annually in the United States. Such fires result in an estimated 280 deaths, 775 injuries and $593 million in property loss each year.
Here are some national residential arson facts:
- Residential structure fires account for 60 percent of all intentional structure fires and 95 percent of associated civilian deaths.
- Intentionally set home structure fires are more likely to be set between 3 p.m. and midnight.
- The bedroom is the most common area of origin for intentional home structure fires, and rubbish, trash or waste was the leading item first ignited.
- The vast majority of residential arson occurs in one- and two-family dwellings, representing a little over 71 percent.
- Over 26 percent of all the identified residential arsons were occupied and operating at the time of the event, while almost 14 percent were vacant (both secured and unsecured).
- Arsons involving single occupancy and other residential structures accounted for 29.3 percent (12,720) of the total number of arson offenses.
Learn more about what you can do to reduce residential arson fires on the U.S. Fire Administration website at www.usfa.fema.gov/aaw.
Clark County is a dynamic and innovative organization dedicated to providing top-quality service with integrity, respect and accountability. With jurisdiction over the world-famous Las Vegas Strip and covering an area the size of New Jersey, Clark is the nation’s 12th-largest county and provides extensive regional services to more than 2 million citizens and 42 million visitors a year. Included are the nation’s 8th-busiest airport, air quality compliance, social services and the state’s largest public hospital, University Medical Center. The County also provides municipal services that are traditionally provided by cities to almost 900,000 residents in the unincorporated area. Those include fire protection, roads and other public works, parks and recreation, and planning and development.