Arson Awareness Week

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National Fire Academy — Fire/Arson and Explosion Investigation Curriculum

The NFA Fire/Arson and Explosion Investigation Curriculum consists of six courses, two 10-day courses and four six-day courses.

These courses are designed to provide critical knowledge and skills to investigate fires, identify potential arson-related crimes, and prepare cases for successful prosecution in court.

All courses except for the “Fire Cause Determination for Company Officers” course are designed for federal, state and local fire service, law enforcement personnel and prosecutors with full-time fire/arson and explosion investigation responsibility and/or prosecution. These personnel include fire/arson investigators, fire marshals, law enforcement personnel, criminal investigators, district/state’s attorney’s staff and members of arson task forces. The “Fire Cause Determination for Company Officers” course is part of the NFA Volunteer Incentive Program and designed to provide volunteer command officers with the basic knowledge and skills to conduct initial fire scene examinations to determine cause.


2013 Arson Awareness Week Posters, Proclamation & Resolution

2013 Arson Awareness Week Poster
(PDF, 758 Kb)

Focus on Fire Safety Poster
(PDF, 612 Kb)

Sample Arson Awareness Week Letter, Proclamation and Resolution (PDF, 17 Kb)

Featured: Protecting Homes Against Arson

This brochure can be customized by your fire department or organization. It provides tips for community residents on how to protect their homes against arson and includes information on establishing a Community Arson Watch Program.

Download from our Publications Catalog

Topical Fire Reports

Coffee Break Training

Featured: Safeguarding Homes from Arson

In support of Arson Awareness Week, USFA encourages fire service personnel to read this training bulletin on identifying steps community residents can take to safeguard their homes from arson. (PDF, 468 Kb)

More Coffee Break Training

National Fire Incident Reporting System: Arson and Juvenile Firesetter Module

Data are an indispensable tool in the war against arson. The ability to identify when and where the crime takes place, what form it takes, and the characteristics of its targets and perpetrators is crucial. Armed with such information, fire service and law enforcement agencies can develop and implement arson prevention initiatives, allowing them to use their resources in the most efficient and effective manner.

The NFIRS 5.0 Arson Module (NFIRS-11) was developed and released in 1999 with this goal in mind.

The optional Arson Module may be used whenever the cause of ignition (NFIRS-2 E1) is coded as “intentional” or as “under investigation” without a distinction as to whether or not a crime has occurred or a determination of criminal intent. The Arson Module can also be used in cases where the cause is “undetermined after investigation.”

In addition, the Arson Module can be used to document juvenile-set fires, whether determined to be intentional, unintentional or under investigation. This information will permit analysis of juvenile firesetting trends, including intervention strategies and repeated activity.

The Arson Module consists of two parts: a local investigation module, which permits a fire department or arson investigation unit to document certain details concerning the incident; and a juvenile firesetter section, which identifies key items of information that could be used for local, state and national intervention programs.

The NFIRS Arson Module is not intended to replace arson information management systems used by fire and law enforcement units but to identify data elements that could be exported to the NFIRS and be included as an integral part of the USFA National Fire Database and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives National Repository.

For more information on the Arson and Juvenile Firesetter Module, see Unit 11 of the NFIRS 5.0 Self-Study Course (Q494) and Chapter 13 of the NFIRS Reference Guide.

Links of Interest

Bomb Arson Tracking System

The Bomb Arson Tracking System (BATS) provides bomb squad and fire investigation communities with free case management technology to simplify reporting incidents, as well as, a number of administrative tasks. BATS users have the ability to query hundreds of thousands of explosives and arson-related incidents dating back to the 1970s.

Users are able to capture details of explosives and fire cases, including improvised explosive device (IED) components, incendiary devices, origin-and-cause or device placement, suspect information, casualties, dollar losses, fire descriptors, collateral crimes, witness interviews, juvenile firesetters and descriptions of how a device was delivered. BATS is user friendly and contains powerful tools for trend analysis and searching for similarities in motives, device components and potential suspects. BATS is also web-based which means it is available from anywhere you have an internet connection; anywhere, anytime with any device.

Each agency administers their BATS account! The U.S. Bomb Data Center (USBDC) simply keeps it running. To obtain additional information or request a BATS account, please contact the U.S. Bomb Data Center at or toll free at 800-461-8841.