This is Arson Awareness Week, May 2-8, 2010. The U.S. Fire Administration reports more than 62,000 arson fires in 2008 across the country caused more than $866-million in damages. The goal of Arson Awareness Week is to focus attention on the horrific crime and to provide communities with tools and strategies to fight arson in their neighborhoods, schools, businesses and places of worship.
If you think that arson is not a problem in our community, you are wrong. Hillsboro Fire and Rescue works closely with Hillsboro Police, Washington County Sheriff’s Department, and other law enforcement agencies to vigorously investigate and support prosecution of all fires determined to be caused by arson. But, we can’t do it alone. It takes the awareness of the entire community to keep watch and report any suspected arson.
• Contact your fire department or police department if you know of an arson crime.
• Report suspicious activity near houses, apartments or commercial buildings. Participate in Neighborhood Watch Programs.
• Keep leaves and flammable debris away from all buildings. Don’t make it easy for an arsonist to start a fire or facilitate spread of the fire to additional structures.
• Keep matches and lighters out of reach of children. It’s best to keep matches and lighters in a locked cabinet.
• If you suspect your child of having an unusual fascination with fire, contact us at 503-681-6166. We have educational programs designed to help a child understand the dangers involved in misusing fire.