1. Arson kills 100 people, injures 2,500 and costs the UK economy £1.3 billion every year, according to "A Compendium of Arson in the UK", published today by the Association of British Insurers (ABI).
2. Key information in this new collection of arson research and statistics includes:
3. In the UK, around 45% of all fires attended by the fire brigade are as a result of arson.
4. Between 1987 and 1998, the number of arson attacks more than doubled, increasing from 37,400 to 88,300. This contrasts with falling numbers of accidental fires - down from 128,200 in 1987 to 110,700 in 1998.
5. Around a fifth of arson attacks are on homes, killing up to 70 people each year, and injuring 2,000. These fires cause around £55 million worth of damage each year.
6. Arson attacks on motor vehicles account for around half of all malicious fires in the UK, causing 20 deaths and injuring up to 80 people every year. The financial cost is around £77 million each year.
7. Schools are also a key target, with around three-quarters of school fires caused by arson. Deliberately-started school fires cost over £40 million a year.
8. Commenting on the Compendium, Tony Baker, ABI's Deputy Director General, and Chief Executive of the Arson Prevention Bureau, said:
9. "This publication gathers together, for the first time, key statistics and research findings on the massive problem of arson in the UK. The cost - especially the human cost - is shocking, and I hope that, by publicising the extent and size of the problem, we can help to encourage improved prevention of arson and detection of arsonists."