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Arson is a deliberate act to create a fire to cause damage or injury.

Unfortunately, this is quite common, it is a major cause of fires and is something that does have to be addressed. You may ask why do people commit arson. There can be lots of different reasons for it. They could be things like disputes with the company, an ex-employee or an employee or someone who's got a problem with that particular company and they start a fire to destroy the building. It could be to things like riots or where people just maliciously damage, insurance fraud where someone deliberately starts a fire to then claim on an insurance policy.

It can be even more extreme, covering up an existing crime, maybe a burglary, which is then set fire to cover, destroy any traces, even murder, where people want to kill somebody within this environment.

Hopefully, these more extreme ones are a little bit more rare and you are not going to come across them, but it is definitely a problem.

So within the fire side within the workplace, we need to try and prevent any risks of arson. We can do this in different ways. Things like CCTV are a good way to avoid, where people are coming up and they know they are being filmed, so therefore so maybe they will not come near the building and set fire to it. But this can still be a problem. So we want to make sure that doors and windows are kept closed. People who are on the premises, who maybe should not be on there should be reported.

Good housekeeping can help as well, making sure that rubbish is not left outside. In some cases, things like skips and wheelie bins are locked to prevent people setting fire to them. Making sure that these bins are kept away from the building and away from fire exits, so if they are set alight, then they will just burn on their own and they will not necessarily burn into the building.

Sometimes fires can be started by things being poured in through letterboxes. Now, you can prevent this as well, by putting boxes on the inside. There are special boxes you can put on so that if someone did pour fuel through a letterbox and set fire to it, the fire is controlled within the letterbox, rather than spreading out into the main building.

Other ways of preventing arson is to have lights within the building, so people never really know if there is someone in there or not. Sometimes lights can be put on timers as well so that the lights are being turned on and off during the night. Another way of preventing it is good cooperation with your neighbours. So by talking to neighbours, being friendly with neighbours of the company, then maybe if they see something that is not quite right, then they would then report it to the police or the fire service.

Arson is a criminal act. The police will be involved. There are things where kids might be mucking around and playing and they might start a fire and cause it accidentally, but at the end of the day, it is still arson, it has to be taken very seriously.

It may well be that your reports as a fire warden and fire marshal are involved in the fire safety of your company that you need to give evidence or statements. So if there are any areas where you think there could be an area where a company could be under threat of arson, you need to make sure that the company know about it, so talk to your supervisor or your employers and tell them what you think or any worries. If you are very observant and vigilant and look out for any possible problems, hopefully, arson will not happen.