Photo by Curtis Comeau
Arson: the crime of any willful or malicious burning or attempt to burn, a dwelling, house, public building, motor vehicle or aircraft, or personal property of another.
Arson has been the leading cause of fires in Edmonton for the last 12 years. It accounts for roughly one-third of all working fires that Edmonton firefighters respond to annually.
Edmonton Fire Rescue Services is working with all levels of government, community groups, business leaders, municipal departments, other fire services, Mental Health and Health Care groups, police agencies and the public to reduce arson in our community.
Arson affects all of us in one form or another, financially or emotionally. By working together we will ensure greater success in making our city a safer community where we can all work, play and enjoy our families.
Prevent Arson at Home
- Become familiar with your neighbours
- Watch out for each other's properties, especially when away on vacation
- Write down license plate numbers of suspicious vehicles and get descriptions of suspicious persons to report to Edmonton Police Services
- Encourage Neighbourhood Watch members to patrol their respective communities to locate abandoned homes and buildings and report these to city officials
- Clean up your property and yard of materials that an arsonist could use to start a fire (i.e., piles of brush, garbage, used furniture or old vehicles)
- Clean up the neighbourhood by removing garbage, flammable liquids, gasoline containers and abandoned vehicles
- Secure the doors, windows or other openings located in abandoned homes and buildings
If your child has misused fire, deliberately started a fire or if you are concerned about your child's interest in fire, please consider our Y-FIRE Program.
Prevent Arson at Places of Worship
- Install motion sensors to illuminate the building exterior and entrances
- Keep trees and shrubs trimmed, especially around windows and entrances, so that passing patrols can have an unobstructed visual of the building
- Ensure that there are proper lock-up procedures
- Limit the number of congregation members who have keys or access codes
- Install security systems
- Consider hiring a private security firm to frequently patrol the building and grounds
- Keep congregation members informed of problems
- Appoint a member to be a liaison with Fire and Police agencies
- Promote Neighbourhood Watch programs
Prevent Arson at School
- Teach students to respect fire
- Establish a Crime Stoppers program within the school where students can anonymously report crimes
- Ensure that the building is well lit and install motion sensor lighting on exterior walls
- Install skirting and secure venting on portable classroom facilities
- Consider installing fencing to close off alcoves and narrow spaces between buildings to deter vandals
- Have alarm systems and automatic extinguishing systems tested by an authorized company
- Continue to conduct regular fire drills
- Place dumpsters and sporting equipment storage facilities well away from the main building
Prevent Arson in the Workplace
- Complete an annual arson inspection of your business and site
- Remove or reduce the targets for arson, such as piles of debris on the premises
- Review your lock-up procedures and housekeeping practices
- Increase security with video cameras, motion sensor lighting, monitored security systems, and swipe card or code entry access for managers and employees