Arson Alert


If you own or manage a business or if you are responsible for fire safety or security in any kind of building you should know that the most serious fire risk you face today is from ARSON which is an ever present threat to shops, offices, storage premises, factories, hotels, restaurants, hospitals, schools, churches. No building is immune. Much of the arson is associated with vandalism and burglaries. You can greatly reduce the risk to your building by adopting the safeguards spelled out below.


  • In any enterprise the owner/manager or a named individual of senior grade must be made responsible for fire safety including protection from arson attack
  • Think about the ease with which intruders/arsonists could break into the premises and take immediate steps to strengthen your defences.
  • If there have been any small fires on your own or neighbouring premises inform the police immediately as well as calling the fire brigade. A small fires could be a warning of something worse to come!


  • One entrance is better than two especially if that one entrance is manned throughout the day.
  • Outer fences, walls and gates need to be high enough and strong enough to keep out intruders.
  • Doors and windows must be in good repair and locked when not in use.
  • Use good quality locks and padlocks.
  • Gaps under doors should be as small as possible.
  • Letter boxes should have metal containers fitted on the inside
  • Know were all your keys are located, chase any that are missing.
  • Stored material of any kind should not be stacked adjacent to fences or walls where it could be set alight from outside.


  • Warn staff of the threat from arson fires.
  • Ask them to challenge anyone who should not be on the premises and report any suspicious activities.
  • Vet new employees.
  • Keep an eye on outside contractors.


  • The movement of visitors within the building should be controlled

Fire protection

  • Ensure equipment which you have installed – extinguishers, hose reels, alarms detectors, sprinklers – is in good working order and protected against sabotage attempts.

End of day checks

  • You or a named individual must be responsible for securing the building at the end of each working day.
  • Check that doors and windows are secure.
  • No combustible materials is left lying around.
  • Alarms switched on.
  • Outside illumination on.
  • Any flammable liquids locked away in secure store.

Information published by the Arson Prevention Bureau

The Bureau has been set up by the Home Office and the Association of British Insurers to spearhead a national programme of action against arson. Further information is available from the Bureau. The Arson Prevention Bureau
140 Aldersgate Street London, EC1A 4DD Tel 0171 600 1695

Arson Prevention Bureau

Help and advice on protection of your premises is available from:-

  • Your insurer
  • The fire safety department of your local fire brigade
  • The crime prevention department of your local police force.

Fire Investigation

Thorough fire investigation is necessary to identify the cause of any fire and where arson is suspected it is essential.

Check List

Although not directly associated with arson you may find this check list a useful aide to memoir for basic fire safety matters.


June 2, 2011[Last updated: September 26, 2011]

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