The West Virginia State Fire Marshal’s Office has announced that this year’s Arson Awareness Week theme is “Vehicle Arson – A Combustible Crime”.
The goal for this year’s Arson Awareness Week, which takes place May 4–10, is to raise awareness of arson and provide individuals with strategies to combat it in their community.
According to the USFA’s National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) data and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 14 percent of all fires involved vehicles. Seven percent of these vehicle fires were intentionally set.
It is estimated that approximately 27,900 vehicle fires are intentionally set each year in the United States. These intentionally set fires resulted in an average of approximately 40 deaths, 75 injuries, and $169 million in property loss each year.
Arsons rob neighborhoods and communities of valuable assets such as lives and property.
Tips to prevent vehicle arson:
• Park your car in a well-lit area. This way people can be seen approaching a vehicle.
• Use a secure parking lot. If you will have your vehicle parked for a long period of time in a certain area, make sure to use a parking lot that is safe.
• Close all windows.
• Remove the key from the ignition. Never leave the vehicle running or have the keys in place to start the vehicle.
• Always lock doors, trunk and tailgate. Keeping your vehicle locked at all times will deter people from entering your vehicle.
• Use antitheft devices. Most vehicles have antitheft abilities with indicators, vehicles alarms, or on-star options.
• Report abandoned vehicle that are in your community to the police. Any vehicle that looks like it has not moved in a while is more than likely an abandoned vehicle.
• Don’t leave valuables in plain sight. Keep all valuables put up and in a safe place.
• Use a recovery system, such as GPS or Lojack.
— The above information was provided by the United States Fire Administration (USFA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).