AccelerantDetectionCanines– Sniffing Out Arson
The Louisiana State Fire Marshal, along with the Department of Homeland Security’s United States Fire Administration, will use the week of May 3rd through May 9th to focus on the value and contribution accelerant detection canines make to fire departments, law enforcement agencies, and their communities.
The theme for the 2015 National Arson Awareness Week is “Accelerant Detection Canines – Sniffing Out Arson.” According to the U.S. Fire Administration, from 2010-2012 an estimated 17,400 intentionally set fires in residential buildings were reported each year, resulting in 275 civilian deaths, 800 civilian injuries, and $513 million in property losses.
For the same period, an estimated 9,000 intentionally set fires occurred in nonresidential buildings each year resulting in $282 million in property losses. The FBI reports that over the last five years an average of 53,127 arsons were reported with an average dollar loss of $15,086 per incident.
An accelerant detection canine is trained to sniff out minute traces of ignitable liquid accelerates that may have been used to start a fire. Each dog is part of a team comprised of the canine and its handler. These canines possess superior capabilities in identifying odors and discriminating among scents.