One fourth of all fires can be attributed to arson, which is the leading cause of property loss due to fire in the US. Half of all arson fires are set by juveniles. Over a half million arson fires, including 100,000 building fires, cost the nation more $2 billion annually and kill over 700 people.
Many things can be done to protect structures from arson. Since arsonists work mainly at night, illuminating the exterior of a building (including parking lots) can reduce hiding places. In addition, the removal of shrubbery and signage that obstructs the view of the building from the street is advised. Building owners should restrict access to the roof and upper floors. Fire escapes and stairs should not be accessible at the ground level.
The probability of arson increases during exciting holidays or celebrations as Halloween, 4th of July, New Year's Eve, and major athletic events, as well as during periods of social unrest. A rotating schedule of volunteers, such as a neighborhood watch, can be very effective in keeping structures safe from arson.
Penalties are enforced for those who commit arson, and in Cleveland parents may be held liable for acts committed by their children. Those wanting to provide information about arson and those seeking investigation of suspected arson, are urged to call the Cleveland Fire Department Arson Unit. All calls are kept confidential, and rewards may apply for some information.
Juvenile Fire Setters Program
216.664.6386 - Weekdays 8 am to 5 pm
The Division of Fire's Bureau of Public Education works directly with the public, teaching fire prevention and safety. The Bureau's Juvenile Fire Setters Program teaches and provides counsel to Cleveland youth who have incidences of setting fires- no matter how small.
Division of Fire Arson Unit 1300 Ontario Ave. Cleveland, Ohio 44113