ATAC on Arson Newsletter

The Next ATAC on Arson meeting will be held Thursday, July 28 at Willhoite’s in downtown Grapevine. The meeting will begin at 10:30 am.

Our featured speaker will be Norm Charney, founder and CEO of Stealth Monitoring in Dallas. Since 2006, Stealth Monitoring has been offering live video monitoring services to commercial businesses that have had problems with crime. The company has seen tremendous growth now serving hundreds of customers in 27 states. Charney will show videos of how his service has assisted businesses and law enforcement in catching arsonists and other criminals red-handed.

Kelly Kistner Leaves SFMO

Kelly Kistner, Associate Commissioner of Insurance and Assistant State Fire Marshal, has resigned. Kistner, who has served as the number two man under State Fire Marshal Chris Connealy for near four years, plans to return to the private sector. Kistner played a significant role in investigating the West explosion and coordinating efforts with all Texas fire departments in working closer with the State Fire Marshal’s Office.

An Introduction to Remembering When - June 22, Southlake

This class is FREE. For complete details, including how to register, please visit the SFMO calendar page.

When: June 22, 2016; 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Where: DPS North Training Facility, 100 East Dove Road, Southlake, TX 76092

Remembering When: A Fire and Fall Prevention Program for Older Adults>, was developed by the National Fire Protection Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help older adults live safely at home for as long as possible. Remembering When is centered around 16 key safety messages – eight fire prevention and eight fall prevention. It is designed to be implemented by a coalition comprising the local fire department, home health providers, service clubs, social and religious organizations, retirement communities, and others. Coalition members decide how to best approach the local senior population: through group presentations, during home visits, and/or as part of a smoke alarm installation and fall intervention program.

Presented by the Texas State Fire Marshal's Office, the National Fire Protection Association, the City of Southlake, and Baylor Scott & White Health.


ATAC dues for 2016 will be due at the beginning of the year.
If you would like to pay them online, that option is now available at
You can either pay by credit card or print the form and mail it to the ATAC office as indicated on the form.
There is an additional fee using the credit card option of about 75 cents.
Dues remain $20 for the year.

Arson Hotline new business cards (English and Spanish)-
The cards are designed for investigators to give to individuals who may be able to provide information related to suspicious fires.
Click here to view Arson Hotline bumper sticker.
Click here to view new business cards (English and Spanish).



*   National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Data: According to the NFPA, arsonists set fires that destroyed $729 million worth of property in 2014, up 10 percent from $663 million in 2013. These include fires at factories, residential buildings and churches and in motor vehicles and other types of vehicles.

*   There were 8,000 vehicle arsons in 2014, compared with 10,500 in 2013.

*   In 2014 there were 19,000 intentionally set structure fires, down 15.6 percent from 2013 and down 39.7 percent from 31,500 in 2005. Arsons accounted for 3.8 percent of all structure fires in 2014. These figures do not count suspicious fires.

*   In 2014 intentionally set structure fires cost $613 million in property damage, up 6.2 percent from $577 million in 2013.

*   The number of civilians killed in arson fires in buildings in 2014 totaled 157, up 4.7 percent from 2013.

*   FBI Data: According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program [2], law enforcement agencies in the United States reported 44,245 arson offenses in 2013, down 13.5 percent from 51,126 offenses in 2012. Only the fires that investigators have determined to have been willfully set—not fires labeled as suspicious or of unknown origin—are included in the FBI report.

*   Arsons involving structures (residential, storage, public, etc.) accounted for 45.9 percent of the total number of offenses in 2013. Mobile property (composed of motor vehicles, trailers and the like) accounted for 23.8 percent of arsons. The rest were arsons involving other types of property

*    According to the FBI, the rate of arson was 15.9 offenses for every 100,000 inhabitants of the United States in 2013. Arson rates were highest in cities with populations of 500,000 to 999,999 people, at 27.9 per 100,000 inhabitants. This compares with 17.9 in all cities. The arson rate for suburban areas was 11.5 per 100,000 inhabitants.

*   In 2013 the average loss value per arson offense was $14,390. The average dollar loss for arsons in structures was $25,761 and was $7,686 for motor vehicles. Arsons of industrial and manufacturing structures resulted in the highest average dollar losses—$126,606 per arson.

*   Arson in the nation's cities fell 14.2 percent in 2013 from 2012. The number of arson incidents in 2013 fell fastest in smaller cities, with populations of from 25,000 to 49,999 residents, where arson incidents were down 23.1 percent. In metropolitan counties arson offenses fell 10.9 percent from 2012 to 2013. Arson offenses fell 11.4 percent in nonmetropolitan counties. In suburban areas arson offenses fell 15.4 percent.

*   Of all major crimes, arson has one of the lowest clearance rates (either by arresting the offender or closing the case when there is evidence to identify an offender but the person cannot be prosecuted for technical reasons). The national rate in 2013 was 21.0 percent.

*   Arson clearances involving people under the age of 18 were 27.9 percent in 2013.

*   Vandalism is the leading cause of arson. An Insurance Research Council study indicates that only 14 percent of arson suspects are motivated by a desire to defraud an insurance company, but other studies find the percentage is higher. Between 20 and 25 percent of arson fires are drug-related.

*   Children are responsible for more than one-third of the arson fires set in the United States.

To Contact ATAC Headquarters:

Administrative functions for ATAC are handled through the
Insurance Council of Texas’ communications division.

ATAC on Arson
Phone: 512-326-7616
c/o Insurance Council of Texas
Fax: 512-444-0734
P.O. Box 15
Austin, TX 78767-0015