Cost Estimate for Arson Fires

By: Karen Kostko
By: Karen Kostko

The months of arson fires took a huge toll on our community, especially when it comes to overall costs of manpower, extra hours, and added equipment.

The money comes from a contingency fund, set aside for emergency purposes. Money was also saved by splitting the costs with surrounding communities that assisted in sharing manpower.

Brandimore says his department also saved money by not hiring extra officers in the beginning of the year.

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Arson Facts

  • Arson is the second leading cause of death by fire in the United States, exceeded only by losses due to smoking.

  • Arson is the leading cause of property damage due to fires.

  • One of every four fires that occur in the U.S. each year, about a half million, are arson.

  • Each year, more than 90 percent of all civilian deaths in incendiary and suspicious structure fires occur in residential properties.

  • Direct property damage from arson totals more than $3 billion in a typical year. One out of every four dollars lost to fire is the result of arson.

  • Only 16 percent of arson offenses lead to arrest, and only two percent of those arrested are convicted.

  • Preliminary results of a new study by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) suggest that between one-fifth to one-fourth of reported arson cases in major American cities are drug-related.

  • Arson is the leading cause of fire in houses of worship, accounting for 25 percent of church and related property fires.

  • 53 percent of all arsons are set by youths under age 18.

Source: www.usfa.fema.gov contributed to this report


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