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Executive Summary Highlights - Seattle Arson Information Management System (AIMS) Project and Excerpts of Interest Covering the Seattle Arson Environment - The 70's, Part One

NCJ Number
Fire and Arson Investigator Volume: 33 Issue: 1 Dated: (September 1982) Pages: 3-29
T R Brace
Date Published
27 pages
This review of research that provided information for Seattle's Arson Information Management system focuses on trends and predictors of arson, the arson prevention and control program, arson in Seattle public schools, and a socioeconomic framework of arson in Seattle.
One study found that housing conditions and economic well-being, as well as neighborhood stability, are significantly related to residential arson rates. The arson prevention and control program consists of (1) the creation of arson investigative unit in the fire department, (2) the development of a training program for arson investigators, (3) community awareness programs, (4) arson immunity legislation which facilitates the obtaining of information helpful to arson investigations, and (5) the establishment of the Arson Alarm Foundation, a nonprofit organization that develops and encourages arson prevention and control programs in Seattle and throughout the State. Research showed that while residential arson is related to housing conditions, economic well-being, and neighborhood stability, commercial arson tends to be related to a single class of variables that reflects a general migration/life cycle change in neighborhoods. Research has shown that while the number of reported arson incidents in Seattle schools has decreased since the mid-1970's, the damage in dollar amounts is still quite substantial. The fire department has undertaken educational programs for students to help reduce juvenile arson behavior. An exhibit displays the socioeconomic framework of arson in Seattle. Tabular data on arson patterns in Seattle are also provided.