Top tips to reduce arson

The occurrence of arson can be reduced and its effects controlled if you are able to identify possible threats and put in place protection measures.

Top tips

  • Carry out a full risk assessment of your property and keep a record in your safety file
  • Ensure your premises are secure (including the perimeter area) and alarmed
  • Protect overhanging roof eaves from any fire beneath
  • Remove combustible materials from view
  • Waste bins should be chained and stored away from buildings
  • fit metal containers to your letter boxes
  • warn your staff about the risks of arson and report suspicious activities
  • Ensure that the fire protection equipment you have installed (extinguishers alarms, detectors and sprinklers) are in good working order
  • Back-up vital documents and store at a separate location
  • Ensure flammable liquids are stored appropriately
  • Keep alarms and exterior lighting switched on at night
  • Know where all your keys are
  • Ensure outside contractors conform to site rules.

Places of worship

Practical tips for communities to reduce the risk of arson a churches

Ecclesiastical Insurance [Alliance sponsors] have launched a new video aimed at reminding churches of the risk of arson and the devastation it can cause.

The guidance is presented by Lloyd Grossman in his role as Chairman of The Churches Conservation Trust. The video was made following an attack on the Grade II*-listed All Saints Church in Fleet, Hampshire, which suffered devastating damage from an arson fire in June 2015.

In severe fires, rebuilding can take several years causing major disruption to churches and community users such as playgroups and charities who use the facilities.

The threat of arson can be reduced by taking some simple, practical actions. You can significantly reduce the risk of becoming a victim of arson at little or no cost. Regular review and taking simple steps to improve the security of church property

  • Create the impression the building is visited regularly.
  • Encourage members of the church and neighbours to visit as part of their daily routine.
  • Carry out vandalism repairs quickly. Minor damage is often followed by more serious incidents including arson if not addressed quickly.
  • Locate waste bins in secure areas well away from buildings if possible. A fire in a waste bin close to the church can quickly spread to the building.


If you have any information about someone deliberately starting fires in your area you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org. No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.