Security Journal

, Volume 30, Issue 1, pp 153–161 | Cite as

Identifying schools at risk of fire-setting

  • Anders Jonsson
  • Marie Lundqvist
  • Thomas Gell
  • Ragnar Andersson
Original Article

Abstract

School fires have become a cause of concern in Sweden in recent years. The fire brigades assess that the majority of these fires are intentionally ignited. This research seeks to identify categories of schools at elevated risk of fire-setting by matching data on school fires from the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency with data on schools from the Swedish National Agency for Education and calculating fire rates. The results indicate that schools which include senior level pupils, larger sized schools, schools organized by a public provider and schools located in bigger cities experience significantly higher rates of fire-setting. The risk of fire-setting is unevenly distributed across school categories in Sweden and knowledge on the relative proneness would help school and fire officials to set more informed priorities in their safety work.

Keywords

school fires juvenile fire-setting arson 

References

  1. Andersson, H. (1995) Arson in Sweden: Its extent, motives and contributory factors. Dissertation, Stockholm University (in Swedish with English abstract).Google Scholar
  2. Arson Control Forum. (2006) Survey of school fires, Communities and Local Government, Research Bulletin 10.Google Scholar
  3. Arson Prevention Bureau. (2002) School Arson: Education under Threat. Association of British Insurers.Google Scholar
  4. Astor, R.A., Benbenishty, R. and Meyer, H.A. (2004) Monitoring and mapping student victimization in schools. Theory into Practice 43(1): 39–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Blomqvist, P. and Johansson, H. (2009) Fire statistics – What do we know about arson? SP Rapport 2008:48, SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden, Borås, Sweden (In Swedish with English summary).Google Scholar
  6. Cotterall, A., McPhee, B. and Plecas, D. (1999) Fireplay report: A survey of school-aged youth in grades 1 to 12. Surrey, British Colombia: University College of the Fraser Valley.Google Scholar
  7. Gottfredson, D.C. (2001) Schools and Delinquency. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Gottfredson, D.C. and DiPietro, S.M. (2011) School size, social capital, and student victimization. Sociology of Education 84(1): 69–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Gottfredson, G.D., Gottfredson, D.C., Payne, A.A. and Gottfredson, N.C. (2005) School climate predictors of school disorder: Results from a national study of delinquency prevention in schools. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 42(4): 412–444.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Grolnick, W.S., Cole, R.E., Laurenitis, L. and Schwartzman, P.I. (1990) Playing with fire: A developmental assessment of children’s fire understanding and experience. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology 19(2): 128–135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Johansson, N. and Van Hees, P. (2012) A Cost-Benefit Analysis of Fire Protection Systems Designed to Protect Against Exterior Arson Fires in Schools, 9th International Conference on Performance-Based Codes and Fire Safety Design Methods, Hong Kong: Society of Fire Protection Engineers, p. 12.Google Scholar
  12. Johansson, N., Van Hees, P., Simonson McNamee, M., Strömgren, M. and Jansson, R. (2013) Façade Fires in Swedish School Buildings, 1st International Seminar for Fire Safety of Facades in MATEC Web of Conferences 9, EDP Sciences.Google Scholar
  13. Klein, J.J., Mondozzi, M.A. and Andrews, D.A. (2008) The need for a juvenile fire setting database. Journal of Burn Care and Research 29(6): 955–958.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Leihbacher, D. (2006) Addressing the growing problem of juvenile fire setting. Fire Engineering 159(1): 69–84.Google Scholar
  15. McCarty, C.A. and McMahon, R.J. (2005) Domains of risk in the developmental continuity of fire setting. Behavior Therapy 36(2): 185–195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. McIntyre, C. and Lundqvist, M. (2009) Fatal fires 2008 (in Swedish), Karlstad: Swedish Civil Contingency Agency.Google Scholar
  17. Murray, R.K. and Swatt, M.L. (2013) Disaggregating the relationship between schools and crime: A spatial analysis. Crime & Delinquency 59(2): 163–190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal. (2002) Juveniles with Fire in Oregon 2001, Office of State Fire Marshal’s Juvenile Firesetter Intervention Program’s Annual report, Salem, OR.Google Scholar
  19. Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal. (2003) Juveniles with Fire in Oregon During 2002, Hot Issues, Salem, OR.Google Scholar
  20. Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal. (2009) Juveniles and Fire in Oregon 2009, Office of State Fire Marshal’s Juvenile Firesetter Intervention Program’s Annual Report, Salem, OR.Google Scholar
  21. Payne, A.A. (2008) A multilevel analysis of the relationships among communal school organization, student bonding, and delinquency. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 45(4): 429–455.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Robers, S., Kemp, J. and Truman, J. (2013) Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2012 (NCES 2013-036/NCJ 241446). National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, and Bureau of Justice Statistics, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Washington DC.Google Scholar
  23. Snyder, H.N. (1999) Juvenile Arson 1997, U.S Department of Justice, Fact sheet Feb 1999#91.Google Scholar
  24. Swedish Civil Contingency Agency. (2013) IDA-Indicators, Data, Analysis [Home page of Swedish Civil Contingency Agency], http://ida.msb.se (in Swedish), accessed 17 September 2013.
  25. Terjestam, P.Y. and Rydén, O. (1996) Fire-Settings as Normal Behavior: Frequencies and Patterns of Change in the Behavior of 7–16 Year Old Children. Karlstad, Sweden: Swedish Rescue Services Agency. Research report (P21-147/96).Google Scholar
  26. U.S. Fire Administration. (2001 [rev 2002]) School fires, Topical Fire Research Series Vol. 2. Issue 9, Emmitsburg, MD: U.S Department of Homeland Security.Google Scholar
  27. U.S. Fire Administration. (2004) School fires, Topical Fire Research Series Vol. 4. Issue 6, Emmitsburg, MD: U.S Department of Homeland Security.Google Scholar
  28. U.S. Fire Administration. (2007) School fires, Topical Fire Research Series Vol. 8. Issue 1.Google Scholar
  29. Wade, P., Teeman, D., Wilson, R. and Woodley, V. (2007) The Impact of School Fires: A Study of the Wider Economic and Social Impacts on Schools and the Local Community. Slough, UK: NFER.Google Scholar
  30. Wynne, S.L. and Joo, H.-J. (2011) Predictors of school victimization: Individual, familial, and school factors. Crime & Delinquency 57(3): 458–488.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anders Jonsson
    • 1
    • 2
  • Marie Lundqvist
    • 2
  • Thomas Gell
    • 2
  • Ragnar Andersson
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Risk Management, Department of Health and Environmental Sciences, Karlstad UniversityKarlstadSweden
  2. 2.Evaluation and Monitoring Department, Swedish Civil Contingencies AgencyKarlstadSweden

Personalised recommendations