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Governor's Proclamation Supports "Arson Awareness Week", May 5 - 11, 2013
April 29, 2013

Sergeant Gregg Withers
Major Crimes Section
(503) 934-0163

Links valid 30 days
Governor's Proclamation -

General Arson Scene Photographs

Arson affects our communities, many lives, and has a significant financial impact on property values and insurance premiums. To help raise awareness and bring attention to loses associated with residential arson, Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber joined fire safety advocates around the country in proclaiming May 5 - 11, 2013, as "Arson Awareness Week."
In the proclamation, Governor Kitzhaber stressed that "only through public education and awareness can we hope to reduce the number of arson incidents that threaten the lives and property of Oregon's citizens."
The U.S. Fire Administration's National Fire Incident Reporting System reports:
* An estimated 16,800 intentionally set fires in residential buildings occur annually in the United States
* Each year, these fires result in an estimated 280 deaths, 775 injuries and $593 million in property loss
* Five percent of all residential building fires were intentionally set
* Seventy-six (76) percent of intentionally set fires in residential buildings occur in one- or two-family dwellings
* Forty-one (41) percent of intentionally set residential fires occurred in vacant buildings
The Oregon State Police Arson & Explosives Section has specially trained and qualified arson investigators who provide expertise in conducting complex arson investigations. In 2012, OSP Arson detectives responded to 184 arson-caused fires of which a third was in residential buildings. Of the arson investigated fires, 10 people reportedly died and OSP detectives arrested over 20 people on arson-related charges. Arson fires in Oregon equated to more than $12 million in property loss.
The Oregon State Police and the Office of State Marshal join the U.S. Fire Administration in urging people to be aware of the following measures to safe guard their homes:
* Illuminate exterior and entrances
* Trim or remove shrubbery that obstructs the view of the structure from the street
* Keep doors and windows locked or bolted
* Clean around your home, removing excess vegetation and piles of leaves
* Equip homes with smoke alarms and a fire sprinkler system
* Watch out for one another in your neighborhood and report any suspicious activity
More information and tips is available on the U.S. Fire Administration's website at: