Monday, May 8, 2017

Arson Prevention at Houses of Worship

Today marks the start of the United States Fire Administration’s, National Arson Awareness Week.  The theme for 2017 is, “Arson Prevention at Houses of Worship”

Each year there is an average of 103 fires that affecting houses of worship.  The burning of a house of worship is a stressful event; it not only devastates the affected congregation, but wounds the entire community. Whether the motivation behind the arson is hate or reckless vandalism, a congregation views it as an attack on their beliefs and values.

Arson robs congregations of their valuable assets, lives and property. Arson destroys more than the buildings used as houses of worship; it can devastate a community, resulting in the decline of the neighborhood through increased insurance premiums, loss of business revenue, and a decrease in property values.
Houses of worship are particularly vulnerable to fire damage because they’re often unoccupied for long periods of time, and in many cases, in rural areas. Rural properties will generally sustain more severe damage – even with an accidental fire – since discovery and response time may be delayed.
Full resources and information for Arson Prevention in Houses of Worship can be found at, National Arson Awareness Week Resources 2017.

A real threat to houses of worship are those that exist from terrorism and terrorist activity. The Al-Qaidah publication, Rumiyah, Edition 5 outlines how to cause an incendiary attack.  The article outlines ways and means, and also provides a list of targets.  The below image and caption comes from the publication:

Caption reads: "1707 San Jacinto in Dallas, Texas - A popular Crusader gathering place waiting to be burned down"

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