Mayor Lamarand declares May 9-16 as Arson Awareness Week in Taylor

On May 4, Taylor Mayor Jeffrey P. Lamarand, in conjunction with Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm and the Taylor Fire Department, proclaimed the week of May 9-16, 2010, as Arson Awareness Week in the City of Taylor.

The opening statement of Mayor Lamarand’s proclamation addresses the most prudent point of the campaign: "Arson is a serious crime that can be stopped only when the realization of the severe damage that it causes our community becomes public knowledge.”

The proclamation continues: “Arson fires erode the local tax base and cause a rigorous loss to our city and neighborhoods by destroying property and the security of employment with each burning. Arson can disrupt our educational systems, damage irreplaceable historical buildings and artifacts, render natural resources useless and inflict countless human deaths as well as injuries. The direct costs of arson each year, estimated by the Michigan Arson Prevention Committee, can reach a staggering $200 million in Michigan alone. The indirect costs associated with arson, both financial and emotional, include funerals, medical bills, legal work, lost wages, business interruptions, increased insurance premiums, and firefighting and law-enforcement costs.”

The proclamation requests the public participate in combating arson through the arson tip-reward program 1-800-44-ARSON (up to $5,000) and encourages parents and caregivers of youth engaging in unsafe fire behaviors to participate in the Taylor Fire Department’s Youth with Fire Intervention Program.  The program is designed to reduce the risk and occurrence of fires set by children and teens.

In the proclamation, Mayor Lamarand and the City Council recognize and pay special tribute to all fire and law-enforcement investigative agencies for their dedicated and tireless service.

Captain "Firefighter Jesse" Kriebel stated, “Arson is a leading cause of fire in the City Of Taylor. Every year, 20 to 30 percent of our fires are arson/suspicious blazes and of these fires 60 to 70 percent are started by children and teen-agers."

"Firefighters Jesse" said there are steps that can be taken to reduce arson.

"Keep leaves, firewood, brush and other combustibles away from buildings," he said. "Keep doors and windows locked when a building is unoccupied. Board up abandoned buildings. Store all flammable liquids, including gasoline and aerosols, in locked cabinets to prevent access. Report suspicious activity near houses or other buildings to the local police, especially if these properties are vacant. If you suspect a child is setting fires, please contact our Youth with Fire Intervention Program at (734) 374-1355. It may not be 'just a phase' the child is going through. Our program can help reduce the risk and reoccurrence of unsafe fire behaviors.”

Firefighter Jesse added: “The most important thing I want people to learn from our program is to keep matches, lighters and candles out of the reach and sight of young children. Playing with fire is the leading cause of fire death for children 10 and under. Please be prepared for a fire. Have working smoke alarms and a home fire escape plan that your family practices at least twice a year.”

For more information and to view Mayor Lamarand’s AAW 2010 Proclamation please visit www.cityoftaylor.com/fire. The public is also encouraged to view arson awareness videos designed to prevent pre-teen and teen arson on the City Of Taylor cable access channels: Comcast Channel 12 and WOW Channel 18. The 28-minute videos will air every two hours during the week starting at 7 a.m. Monday.

Arson Awareness Week Initiatives

  • Lessons in all Taylor School District fourth- and fifth-grade grade classrooms during the month of May.
  • Poster contest open to fourth- through 12th-grade students.
  • Displays and Juvenile Firesetter Brochures throughout the City Of Taylor in frequented public buildings.
  • Information at cityoftaylor.com/fire.
  • Michigan Arson Awareness Committee poster contest art displayed on the City of Taylor cable access channels: Comcast Channel 12 and WOW Channel 18.
  • Video Programming airing every two hours on the City Of Taylor cable access channels.
  • Youth with Fire Intervention Programs available upon request, year round, to parents/caregivers of youth engaging in unsafe fire behaviors. Call (734) 374-1355.  The program is facilitated by Taylor Fire Department members certified by the National Fire Protection Association and the National Fire Academy’s Juvenile Firesetter Intervention Specialist I & II Programs.
  • Promotion of the Arson Reward Program and the Arson Tip Line: 1-800-44-ARSON.

For more information please contact Captain Fire Inspector Jesse Kriebel at (734) 374-1357 or jkriebel@ci.taylor.mi.us.