Arson Awareness Week May 3-9, 2009
Arson for Profit

This page may contain links to non-U.S. government websites. What this means to you »
Arson Awareness Week Poster

2009 Arson Awareness Week Poster

photo of fire

According to the Insurance Information Institute, arsonists destroyed nearly $900 million in insured property and killed 295 civilians nationwide in 2007.

The United States Fire Administration (USFA) announces this year’s Arson Awareness Week (AAW) theme – Arson for Profit. The USFA partnered with the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI).

The goal of this year's AAW, May 3-9, is to focus public attention on arson for profit. By drawing people's attention to the alarming statistics about arson for profit, we hope to expand the resources and support necessary to reduce this crime. There are many motives for arson - the crime of deliberately and maliciously setting fire. Arson for profit, or economic arson, is when businesses or individuals set fires to reduce financial loss, recoup initial investments, or dispose of depreciated assets usually for a payout from insurance companies.

Arson for profit is insurance fraud, a criminal method of obtaining money from a fire loss policy. The losses for arson are staggering!

Arson fires do not always do what they are told, especially when set by amateurs. The blazes often leave clues that send the arsonists to jail for years. Arson fires also can spread fast, sometimes burning adjacent properties and even killing or injuring innocent onlookers—and the insurance crooks themselves.

Arson for profit affects everyone through the loss of life, increased insurance premiums and related expenses for the fire and law enforcement professionals. It can only be curtailed by a collaborative effort and cooperation of fire investigators, law enforcement, insurance professionals and the legal system.

Related Publications

Links of Interest