Last week’s blog looked at the crime statistics in the local areas. We particularly focused on burglary and theft reports. In the same report there were also figures on arson and criminal damage.
Arson is still a significant problem, with fires as recent as the Majestic in Leeds last September being investigated as an act of arson. You should keep this in mind with your business and make sure you take the steps needed to prevent arsonists from targeting your property, and have a plan in place in the instance that a fire was to break out from this cause.
The Keighley area statistics showed 305 cases in 2014, most cases occurred in November with 38 reported that month.
The Central Bradford area (BD1) had a lower number of criminal damage and arson attacks reported last year, with a total of 179.
The number of reported cases dropped again in the Bingley area with 159 reported in 2014.
Central Harrogate came up with the highest reported cases of arson and criminal damage in 2014 with a total of 333 cases.
Here are a few things to keep in mind at your property to prevent you being a target of an arson fire.
The owner/manager/senior official of a property must take responsibility for fire safety including protection from arson attacks.
Think about how easy intruders/arsonists could break into the premises and take action to strengthen defenses around the property.
Notify the police and fire department of any small fires in your area. This could be a warning sign of larger fires to come.
Think about the entrances to your property. Multiple entrances are less secure than a single entrance, particularly if that entrance is manned.
Make sure all walls, fences and gates are strong enough and tall enough to keep out intruders.
Keep doors and windows well maintained and locked when not in use.
Invest in good quality locks and padlocks.
Make a note of who has keys to the property and chase up any that are missing.
Stored materials should be stacked securely in a place they cannot be reached from outside, for instance, do not stack materials along external fences where they could be easily set alight.
Warn all staff of the threat from arson fires.
Ask staff to challenge anyone who they think should not be on the premises, and alert someone of any suspicious behaviour.
Vet new employees.
Keep an eye on outside contractors.
Control movement of visitors within your premises, do not let them wander into areas unsupervised.
Ensure all fire equipment is in working order and regularly serviced.
Keep all fire equipment protected against sabotage.
End of day checks
Have someone responsible for securing the building at the end of each day.
Check all doors and windows are secure.
Make sure no combustible materials are left lying around.
Check that there are no unauthorised people on the premises before you lock up.
Switch on your alarms.
Switch on outside illumination to deter intruders.
Keep all flammable liquids locked away securely.
Take a look at the statistics for your area at http://www.ukcrimestats.com/