Arson tends to become more common in neighborhoods when the weather improves and evening temperatures rise. While many fires are suspicious in nature, it can be difficult for community fire departments to confirm cases of arson.
Some measures that homeowners and communities can implement to reduce the chances of arson include:
- Store flammable materials in a safe and secure area
- Reduce garbage, leaves, lumber, or bulky waste items on properties
- Put all refuse in sealed bags and place in an appropriate container
- Discourage littering, and proactively pick up and dispose of litter
- Keep firewood well away from a garage or house
- Bright lights around your home or garage may discourage arsonists
- Do not allow mail or newspapers to accumulate
- Report non-functioning street lighting to Manitoba Hydro
- Join or form a Neighborhood Watch program
- Get involved in your community and phone 911 if you see suspicious activity
For your home, a monitored alarm system connected to a smoke and/or fire detector can provide safety and peace of mind. Most home insurance policies offer premium discounts if the homeowner installs a monitored alarm system.
Finally, talk to your independent licenced insurance broker to make sure your home or tenant insurance policy is accurate and up-to-date. You never want to have to use an insurance policy to recover from a fire due to arson, but it is comforting to know it is in place if you need it.