The United States Fire Administrated introduced its theme for the 2012 Arson Awareness Week, which will be observed May 6-12. The theme, Prevent Youth Firesetting.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, fires started by children playing accounted for an average of 56,300 fires with associated losses of 110 civilian deaths, 880 civilian injuries, and $286 million in direct property damage per year between 2005 - 2009.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation's Uniform Crime Reporting Program report states that juveniles (persons under age 18) accounted for roughly 46% of arson arrests in 2005-2010. In 2010, 40% of arson arrests were juveniles with 47.6 % of those children under 16 years of age.
"Fire in the hands of children is devastating - regardless of a child's age or motive," said Ernest Mitchell, Jr., U.S. Fire Administrator. "It is imperative that we do everything possible to prevent youth firesetting to protect the nation's most valuable resource, our children."
The official Prevent Youth Firesetting Arson Awareness Week site and resources is located at, www.usfa.fema.gov/aaw.
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