Reducing arson risk

Arson, or deliberate fire setting, is a criminal offence that can lead to injury or loss of life. Follow our advice to help you reduce the risk of arson.

What is arson?

Arson is the act of deliberately setting a fire to damage or destroy something such as property or green space, and/or endangering life. 

There are some simple steps you can take to help protect your property from being a victim of arson.  

Reducing risks at home

Fires involving rubbish can quickly spread to nearby homes and buildings putting lives at risk. Reduce the risk by:  

  • Never storing rubbish, or anything that can catch alight, in corridors, stair wells, near escape routes or near to your property 
  • Keeping communal bin stores secure and well lit 
  • Disposing of garden waste safely and quickly 
  • Never overloading skips and get them removed when full 
  • Storing wheelie bins safely away from doors and windows and taking them in when it’s not collection day 

One of the best ways to prevent arson is making sure your property is secure, including any derelict buildings. Do this by: 

  • Keeping entry points to buildings secure, including sheds or garages, perimeter walls, fencing and gates 
  • Boarding up and securing unused or derelict buildings 
  • Preventing intruders and trespassing by making sure perimeters and buildings are well maintained and any damage is repaired as soon as possible 
  • Considering installing security systems such as CCTV, alarms and security lighting 
  • Keeping any flammable substances stored safely and securely, not left in the open 

If you have been threatened with arson, you should report this to the police.

Reporting concerns

If there have been any fires without an obvious, non-deliberate cause at your own or neighbouring premises, call the police. Call them on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Vandalism and anti-social behaviour can also be linked to arson. Report such behaviour through your local neighbourhood policing team, neighbourhood watch team or through Crimestoppers

You should also report any accumulated or abandoned rubbish to your local council.

More advice  

Reducing arson risk for businesses
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