Arson is defined as a crime of setting a fire with intent to cause damage. The definition of arson was originally limited to setting fire to buildings, but was later expanded to include other objects, such as bridges, vehicles, and private property. In either case, this is a very serious crime and is punishable by a long jail sentence.
Remember: Everyone Pays for Arson!
What can you do?
...to protect your home:
- Organize locally. Become familiar with your neighborhood and neighbors. You can learn more about Modesto Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Program by calling the Crime Prevention officers at the local command areas.
- Publicize your efforts by providing the media with information and by sharing with other groups with similar problems.
- Protect your home or business with strong locks on all windows and doors, and install effective night lighting. However, never use a lock that requires a key to exit from your house.
- Eliminate readily available fuel for fire such as wood piles, paper, leaves, trash, and combustibles.
- Trim or remove shrubbery that obstructs the view of the building from the street. Restrict access to the roof and upper floors.
- Consider fencing the property.
...to protect your place of business:
- In any business, someone must be responsible for fire safety including protection from arson attack.
- Think about the ease with which an intruder/arsonist could break into the premises. Take immediate steps to strengthen your defenses.
- If there have been any small fires on your own or neighboring properties inform the police or fire department immediately. A small fire could be a warning of something worse to come!
- Provide perimeter security to include fences, gates with locks, and security lighting. Secure all doors and windows.
- Ensure automatic fire protection has been inspected and maintained on a quarterly basis. Sprinkler control valves must be chain and padlocked open or have electronic tamper switches.
- Remove all weeds, trash, and debris from around the exterior of the building. Store combustibles away from the building.
- Remove trash from the interior of the building at the end of each day.
- Make sure all sprinkler heads and control valves are clear of obstruction.
- At the end of the day, check that doors and windows are secure and that outside illumination is on.
- Report any signs of tampering with security devices, doors, windows, false fire/burglar alarms. Ensure that all visitors are escorted in non-public areas.