The McKinney Fire Department (MFD) has joined the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) in its effort to raise awareness of the problem of arson at abandoned or vacant properties. Abandoned or vacant properties have a negative impact on a community’s image and their presence may result in an increase of criminal activity and public safety problems.
Each year, there are an average of 550 arson fires at abandoned or vacant properties in the United States. In order to help decrease negative impact and blight associated with these unsecured buildings, the USFA encourages the community to take four action steps: monitor, secure, inspect and mark.
- Monitor all vacant properties. Properties with no viable owner are susceptible to crime.
- Secure them to prevent unauthorized access.
- Inspect and evaluate them to identify potential safety issues that first responders would face if they responded to a fire.
- Mark them with a visual cue to indicate if there are hazards.
“Beyond the danger arson in vacant or abandon buildings creates for firefighters, the structures are also unsightly, attract criminal activity, and are a threat to public safety where they exist,” said McKinney Fire Marshal Mike Smith.
For more information on how to reduce the risk of arson at vacant or abandoned buildings, visit www.usfa.fema.gov.
McKinney, Texas, is unique by nature. As one of the fastest growing cities in America, McKinney has a current population of 180,000. The city was #1 on the list of Best Places to Live in America in 2014, published by Money Magazine. Established in 1848, the city is located 30 miles north of Dallas and is the county seat of Collin County. McKinney offers award-winning schools, a vibrant historic downtown, diverse housing options, a robust economy and a uniquely beautiful natural setting, with rolling hills and lush trees.