Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, who also serves as Florida’s State Fire Marshal, recognized May 4 to 10 as Arson Awareness Week 2014.
The nationwide initiative aims to educate the public on the importance of community arson awareness, with a specific focus this year on reducing vehicle arsons. This particular crime accounts for 27 percent of all arsons committed annually and $169 million in property damage per year in the United States.
“Arson Awareness Week is a great opportunity to educate Floridians about strategies to combat arson in their communities,” said CFO Atwater. “This year, the focus is on educating the public about vehicle arson, which results in approximately 40 deaths and millions of dollars lost through property damage and rising insurance rates every year.”
The Division of the State Fire Marshal’s Bureau of Fire and Arson has organized several activities in different regions of the state in order to help raise awareness. These events include:
North Florida region:
What: Tallahassee Fire Department ceremony with live vehicle fire and mock investigation; lunch provided
When: Wednesday, May 7 at 11:00 a.m.
Where: Tallahassee Fire Department, Station #4 in Tallahassee, Florida
What: Clay County Fire Department arson presentation to newly hired firefighters
When: Monday, May 12 at 8:30 a.m.
Where: Clay County Emergency Operation Center in Green Cove Springs, Florida
What: Levy County Fire Department live arson demonstration
When: Wednesday, May 14 – TBD, contact Levy County Fire Department for event time.
Where: Williston High School in Williston, Florida
Central Florida region:
What: Hillsborough County Fire Department static display, arson K9 visit
When: Friday, May 9 at 10 a.m.
Where: Brandon Town Square Mall in Brandon, Florida
South Florida region:
What: Static display, arson K9 visit
When: May 10 from 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Where: Miromar Outlet Mall in Estero, Florida
The Division of the State Fire Marshal will also be making several presentations at elementary and middle schools in Broward County along with the Broward County Fire Department.
Arson Awareness Week is led by the United States Fire Administration (USFA) partnering with the International Association of Arson Investigators; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); USA on Watch; National Association of State Fire Marshals; National Volunteer Fire Council and the Insurance Committee for Arson Control.
For more information about Arson Awareness Week 2014, visit the USFA website at http://www.usfa.fema.gov/fireservice/prevention_education/strategies/arson/index.shtm.
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