Project Arson: Uncovering the True Arson Rate in the United States

Project Arson: Uncovering the True Arson Rate in the United States
David J. Icove, The University of Tennessee
Thomas K. Hargrove, Scripps News Washington Bureau

Presented at International Symposium of Fire Investigation, 2014

Many forensic investigators and practitioners in the field of arson suppression sense that the true arson rate in the United States is far higher than is commonly reported. This paper reports on efforts to uncover the true arson rate in the United States through a nationwide audit conducted by a national news service in partnership with a major university. Using traditional social science research methods and constructing pattern-recognition algorithms, the project focused on an examination of building and vehicle fire statistics for the 2006-2011 time period recorded by the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) and the application of geographic, socioeconomic, and mortgage foreclosure data to those statistics.

Download the complete paper

Meet the NAFI team: Paulette Braga

Meet the NAFI team: Paulette Braga, Professional Liability Program administrator

Everyone at the National Association of Fire Investigators works hard to make sure our members reach their goals by supporting them with a variety of NFPA based trainings, certifications, and resources. When our members have the relevant education and resources that meet their needs, we’ve succeeded! We are proud of our team and are happy to share more about them with you.
Paulette is the administrator of NAFI’s Professional Liability Program, she works for the NAFI members, not the insurance company and is here to help you ensure that you’re insured. She has 30 years of experience in areas of underwriting, loss control, department management, and field work supervision. Paulette has held a number of key leadership and management positions with well known insurance organizations and she is past president of the local chapter of International Association of Insurance Professionals. 
How did you get started working in insurance?
The General Accident insurance company was looking for a Supervisor for their legal department. A friend that I went to Alephi University with referred me to the Branch Manager who was looking for someone with experience in Contract Law knowledge. I was a paralegal at the time and I fit their needs.
What is your favorite part of working with NAFI?
I love meeting and talking with the members. I like making the members aware of how insurance coverages work and the differences in those coverages. It’s important to me that I get to work for the members, not the insurance companies, offering them competitive pricing, no additional charges for Additional Insured or Waivers of Subrogation, it really is insurance coverage written by fire investigators for fire investigators.
What is your favorite book?
“The Grapes of Wrath,” by John Steinbeck
What is a quote that you live by?
If you have no will to change it, you have no right to criticize it.
If you could only watch one TV program or series for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Downtown Abbey

Earth Day: Which types of trees require wildfires to regenerate?


Pine barrens, Eucalyptus forests, and lodgepole pine forests require fires to regenerate, these trees have adapted to only produce seeds after major canopy fire events.