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Archived News Release from 2007

For Immediate Release

Redwood City Joins with United States Fire Administration to Recognize 2007 Arson Awareness Week – May 6 through May 12

Redwood City, CA - April 26 , 2007 - Each year, the United States Fire Administration (USFA) dedicates a week to promoting a national recognition, awareness, and understanding of the arson problem in the U.S., one of our nation’s most dangerous and costly threats to people and property. This year’s theme is "Vehicle Arson: Who Pays for this Crime?"

The Redwood City Fire Department is taking this opportunity to remind the community that the incidence of vehicle arson is a very real and very serious issue. According to 2004 data, 36,000 intentionally set vehicle fires occurred nationwide that year, an increase of 18 percent from the previous year. Vehicle arson accounted for $165 million in property damage, an increase of 25 percent from the previous year, and accounted for 29 percent of all arson fires. In fact arson is the second-highest cause of all vehicle fires.

The reasons for vehicle arson are many: it’s not only auto thieves trying to destroy evidence, but also people trying to get out of costly auto payments, insurance fraud, and other illegal arson activities. The loser in all this is the driving public, who ultimately pays for it in their rising insurance premiums, which increase for everyone when crimes like this are committed.

The community is urged to visit www.usfa.dhs.gov for information on vehicle arson and other fire safety issues, including tips like these:

To help prevent vehicle arson:

  • Park your car in a well-lit area
  • Use a secure parking lot for extended periods
  • Close all windows
  • Remove the key from the ignition
  • Always lock doors, trunk, and tailgates
  • Use antitheft devices
  • Report abandoned cars to the police

If you are in a burning vehicle:

  • Get yourself and others out of the vehicle
  • Call the fire department at 911 and tell them the location of the fire.
  • Stay away from the vehicle - do not try to retrieve personal property.
  • Never put yourself in danger attempting to extinguish the fire yourself
  • Do not open the hood or trunk if you expect a fire under it.

 Visit Redwood City’s award-winning website at www.redwoodcity.org for information about the City and its services, the community, recreation programs, education, and local business. Take a look at the variety of City webcams at www.redwoodcity.org/webcam, and subscribe to Redwood City’s email newsletter and other City documents by visiting www.redwoodcity.org/egov.

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Contact:
Louis Vella
Administrative Chief/Fire Marshal
650-780-7400

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