London Fire Brigade

Reducing arson

Community safety campaign poster of a lighter.

Protecting Londoners isn’t just about preventing accidental fires, we also work hard to tackle the problem of arson.

In 2010/11 we attended over 6,000 deliberate fires in London. This number is coming down, but we still need to do more because these fires damage property, take firefighters away from training and fire safety work, and can even lead to people being hurt or killed.

We tackle arson by working closely with other organisations like the Police, and we also raise awareness of the problems of arson by using publicity and campaigns. Through our youth engagement programmes we talk to young people about the consequences of crimes like arson and hoax calls.

A range of people help us tackle arson including:

  • Our fire investigation units, teams who attend fires after firefighters have put the fire out. Fire investigators work closely with police to find out how deliberate fires are started. Teams use specialist equipment and techniques, and can even call on fire investigation dogs, trained to sniff out accelerants such as petrol. 
  • An Arson Task Force, which brings together the Fire and Rescue Service, the police and government departments, to reduce arson-related deaths, injuries and fire damage. 
  • Our juvenile firesetters intervention team (JFIS), which works with young people who have demonstrated firesetting behaviour.

Partnership working is important to us

London’s Arson Task force brings together staff from the Brigade and also organisations including crime and disorder reduction partnerships, neighbourhood watches, businesses and trade associations, local authorities, Crimestoppers, the Crown Prosecution Service, Schools and the Metropolitan Police.

Together we research why people carry out fire related crime, monitor where it occurs and discuss strategies to reduce it.

Arson control forum

To provide a better understanding of arson and to promote inter-agency working, the government funds an Arson control forum. The forum has representation from government, police, fire and rescue services, insurers and other professional bodies.