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Transportation and Warehouse Arson (From Controlling Cargo Theft - A Handbook of Transportation Security, P 79-102, 1983, Louis A Tyska and Lawrence J Fennelly, ed. - See NCJ-88969)

NCJ Number
G S Gately
Date Published
24 pages
Attention to transportation and warehouse arson requires preventive maintenance, knowledge of procedures in a cause-and-origin examination of a fire, a motivation examination where arson is established, attention to insurance coverage, and knowledge of laws applicable to arson.
Any organization engaged in the handling, shipping, and storage of cargo that does not consider the possibility of arson in its overall security readiness program becomes vulnerable to severe losses caused by malicious fires set by vandals, disgruntled employees, emotionally upset members of the community, strike agitators, and possibly members of ownership with financial interests at stake. In the area of preventive maintenance, a system should be established to account for all visitors and unauthorized persons on the premises. The possibility of arson or accidental fire should be included in the training of security personnel. Employees should be instructed in fire safety and be encouraged to observe suspicious behavior or unusually hostile behavior by coworkers. An adequate supply of fire fighting equipment should be provided, and appropriate personnel should be trained to operate it. Although fire or police agencies will have qualified arson investigative personnel, transportation and warehouse security personnel should be familiar with investigative procedures, including cause-and-origin or fire-scene examination and the motivation phase of the examination that contributes to identifying the arsonist. Insurance is available to protect against loss from fire, and the insurance survey associated with such coverage can be an important tool for improving fire protection. A model arson penal law has been developed that provides appropriate penalties for acts associated with arson, including possession of explosives or incendiary devices. Eleven arson loss-prevention techniques particularly applicable to warehouses are provided.