Overview: Arson can devastate a community, resulting in the decline of the neighborhood through increased insurance premiums, loss of business revenue, and a decline in property values.
Arson is difficult to prosecute, but the effects are felt throughout the community: workers lose jobs, towns and cities lose tax dollars, burned buildings create blighted areas, and innocent people are injured or killed.
Uncontrolled arson, along with other serious crime, creates rampant fear among residents, business customers, and potential visitors. If the community’s streets seem out of control, people will be afraid to come into that area to visit or do business. These conditions can quickly lead to a second stage where residents who can afford to move out begin selling homes, even at a loss, to escape before the bottom drops out. Property tax collections plummet, giving the community less resources to fight back.
One of the best ways to protect yourself and your family is to have a working smoke alarm. A working smoke alarm greatly reduces your chances of dying in a fire. Make and practice a home fire escape plan and set a meeting place outside. Be sure everyone in your family knows at least two escape routes from their bedrooms.