ATAC on Arson Newsletter

The next ATAC on Arson meeting will be held Thursday, July 25 beginning at 10:30 a.m. at Willhoite's in downtown Grapevine.
Geoff Keah, president of the North Texas Special Investigation Units (NTSIU) will be our guest speaker. Geoff works at Esurance Insurance as an manager in the Special Investigations Unit. He has prior law enforcement background as well as over 18 1/2 years of claims handling experience ranging from non-complex to litigated files. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of Houston, as well as the designations AIC, FCLS, and CIFI. He has served on the Executive Boards in various capacities for: North Texas Chapter of IASIU, North Texas Crime Commission-Auto Theft Committee, and the North Texas Fire Investigators' Association.

Arson Hotline Posters Available

Arson Hotline posters are available upon request at no charge to statewide fire departments. Arson Hotline business cards are also available. They are designed for investigators to give to individuals who may be able to provide information related to suspicious fires.

2018 Dues Now Due

ATAC dues for 2018 are due at the beginning of the year. If you would like to pay online just click on the top where it says "Click here to become a member." If you prefer to pay by check you can click there and choose the option to mail in your payment. It will give you a form to fill out and print. Dues remain $20/yr.

ATAC Related Links Section

Be sure to check out the Related Links portion of the website. A new link has just been added to a website provided by ADT as a consumer service promotion and as part of their community outreach efforts. It goes to their Home Safety Guide which has safety tips for kids, safety checklists for families and other guidelines and information. Use it as a teaching tool.

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