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Fire News in Focus
by Adam K. Thiel

Public education delivers tangible results

Working with youth is a key component to reducing fire-setting

By Adam K. Thiel

Editor's Note: Chief Adam K. Thiel points out the valuable, and measurable, results of comprehensive risk-reduction actions.

This story is quite timely as we recognize Arson Awareness Week from May 6-12, with a special emphasis on preventing youth fire-setting. 

The statistics from Aberdeen provide compelling evidence that public fire education can help meaningfully reduce the incidence of structural fires.

We often focus our prevention efforts on school children for several reasons; among them is reducing the potential for youth fire-setting. It's nice to have another positive example to support the continued need for these programs.

It's also important to note, that public education is just one facet of a comprehensive community risk-reduction program. In Aberdeen, they're also working to identify and mitigate the hazards in vacant buildings — a topic we're also very familiar with here in the United States.

Stay safe!

About the author

With more than two decades in the field, Chief Adam K. Thiel FireRescue1's editorial advisor is an active fire chief in the National Capital Region and a former state fire director for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Chief Thiel's operational experience includes serving with distinction in four states as a chief officer, incident commander, company officer, hazardous materials team leader, paramedic, technical rescuer, structural/wildland firefighter and rescue diver. He also directly participated in response and recovery efforts for several major disasters including the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Tropical Storm Gaston and Hurricane Isabel.

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