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What is Arson?

Arson is defined as the crime of any willful or malicious burning or attempt to burn, a dwelling, house, public building, motor vehicle or aircraft, or personal property of another.

Arson has been the leading cause of fires in Edmonton for over a decade. It accounts for roughly one-third of all working fires that Edmonton firefighters respond to annually.

Arson burns everyone. Here is how arson can affect you:

  • Increase your insurance costs;
  • Increase your property taxes;
  • Decrease your property values;
  • Have an economic impact on community;
  • Threat to public safety and lives;
  • Firefighters’ lives are endangered fighting the fire;
  • Unnecessary use of fire department resources;
  • Increase costs to judicial system; and
  • Increase costs to medical system.

Edmonton Fire Rescue Services is working with many community partners, including police agencies, to reduce arson in Edmonton communities.

Think you might have information about an arson incident? Visit Crime Stoppers' web page to submit tips.

Arson prevention tips

  • Store all flammable materials safely.
  • Garbage, leaves, lumber and bulky waste like mattresses and couches should be disposed of properly.
  • Put all garbage in sealed bags and place in a can.
  • If you see garbage lying on the ground or roadway, pick it up and place in a garbage can.
  • Firewood should be kept away from the house or garage.
  • Place adequate lighting around your home and garage so arsonists have nowhere to hide.
  • If there is a fire in your area, inform Investigators of any suspicious persons or activities that you may have noticed.
  • If you see any suspicious persons in your area, call the police complaint line at 780-423-4567.
  • If you witness ANY crime in progress or if you witness a fire, phone 911 immediately.

You can help us. If you have information on any arson crime, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

For additional tips and resources, you can also visit the City of Edmonton’s Arson web page.

Vacant Buildings

Vacant buildings and properties can be a fire hazard to the community. Effects of vandalism and arson range from an inconvenience to serious danger to you, your family and even firefighters. Your help is needed for a safer community.

If you see any of these problems, call 780-423-4567:

  • Suspicious actions or behaviour, such as loitering on the property;
  • Vacant premises not properly secured;
  • Signs of attempted arson; or
  • New graffiti.

If you see any of these problems, call 9-1-1:

  • A break and enter in progress;
  • Someone lighting a fire;
  • Smoke or flames coming out of the building; or
  • Vandalism in progress.