The human cost of deliberate fire-setting, whether criminally
reckless or with murderous intent, is shocking. There are about 100
needless deaths and 2,500 injuries annually.
Commenting Steve Best, Managing
Director of fire safety specialists, Newflame, said, “The new Fire
Safety Order, which came into force in October 2006, recognises the
change in focus from reaction to prevention that has been emerging
for some years. Among the many measures in the Act is a statutory
duty to promote community fire safety and this includes arson
prevention. Most fire and rescue services were already undertaking
this work before the law change but now for the first time, it has
Home Office Research has estimated
that the overall annual cost of fire in England and Wales is around
£7.7 billion. Of this, arson costs around £2.8 billion. Such fires
severely disrupt the local economy. Three quarters of companies
suffering a significant fire will be out of business within the
year, leading to lost jobs and further losses to the economy.
British business insured fire losses are £700 million each year,
with arson accounting for over half the insured fire losses.
It is worth considering that arson
costs the economy £53.8 million pounds each week in England and
Wales also on a weekly basis:
There are 2,213 arson attacks
360 businesses and public buildings are damaged or destroyed by
Arson kills 2 people
Arson injures 63 people
20 schools and colleges are damaged or destroyed by arson
262 homes are damaged or destroyed by arson
1,402 cars are damaged or destroyed by arson.
Newflame’s Steve Best observes,
“Arson is an increasingly significant factor in fire losses and
industrial and commercial buildings are major targets for arsonists.
Arson is an ever present threat but one which business owners can do
much to control.
minimise the risk from arson, companies should be carrying out a
Fire Risk Assessment, which has been a legal requirement since 1997.
Make sure everyone is aware that they have a responsibility in fire
safety - think of all the ways in which someone could start a fire
deliberately inside or outside your premises.”