Each year for National Arson Awareness Week, the U.S. Fire Administration gathers and shares information to raise awareness of arson and provide individuals with strategies to combat these problems in their community.
This year’s National Arson Awareness Week theme is “Accelerant Detection Canines (ADC) – Sniffing Out Arson.” These canines are motivated helpers that are able to save both time and money in an arson investigation.
- Has a sense of smell that is 100,000 times more acute than a human’s.
- Knows how to work a crowd. At a fire scene, the dog is encouraged to mingle with spectators and give them a good sniff. If the arsonist is in the crowd watching, the ADC will alert to the smell of the accelerant on his or her clothes, shoes or body.
- Is fast, covering an entire scene in less than 30 minutes. It can take humans days to do what a dog does in minutes.
- Is an excellent addition to any community’s fire prevention and education program. In addition to averaging 90 fires a year, in their off hours, ADC teams head out into their communities to teach fire safety and prevention to kids and adults.
To learn more about the history and training of Accelerant Detection Canines, check out FEMA’s resources at www.usfa.fema.gov/aaw.