Arson protection should be stepped up to protect lives, says firm
Published by Kathy Wilkinson for The Safety Letterbox Company in Housing and also in Communities, Environment, Local Government
Letterboxes are a 24-hour 'vulnerable' entry point
Greater efforts should be made to protect families, homes and businesses from the ever-present threat of potentially life-threatening arson attacks, a leading manufacturer suggests.
50% of all fires in the UK are arson-related, yet simple and inexpensive products that are available to prevent possible loss of lives and destruction to property are not reaching those perhaps most at risk, claims Alison Orrells, Managing Director of The Safety Letterbox Company.
Alison, whose South Wales-based company manufactures anti-arson solutions, believes many vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, ethnic minorities or single parents, are missing out – with sometimes tragic consequences.
“Deliberate fire-setting is a destructive and distressing crime that is rarely out of the headlines. So many people are concerned about it, yet few seem to do anything about it,” she says. “Instead of living in fear, they should be putting pressure on their local authorities or community officers to help them find an affordable solution to protect their homes.
“The letterbox is the only part of a building that is ‘open’ 24-hours a day and, sadly, many fires are started by inflammable materials or fireworks being posted through the letterbox. An inexpensive, yet extremely effective solution is to fit a lockable letterflap that would prevent this and provide instant peace of mind,” continues Alison.
In an average week in England, arson results in 1600 deliberately set primary fires, 50 injuries, two deaths and a cost to society of at least £45 million. Figures from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) show that in 2008 the cost of fire damage was £1.3 billion. Commercial fire damage cost £865 million, school fires cost £33 million and fire damage to homes cost £408 million.
The Safety Letterbox Company created its unique lockable letterflap – Flaplock – following demand from Arson Task Force teams across the UK. It provides an affordable, practical and Police Preferred Specification security solution to protect homes and firms from criminal intrusion. Flaplock can be fitted in minutes onto any entrance door, effectively sealing the letterbox against access, with a separate mailbox installed, if required, to accept mail.
Some local authorities and fire authorities already supply and install Flaplocks through existing ‘safety budgets’, though not all provide this service.
Alison adds: “Flaplock has already provided peace of mind and additional security for a number of people living in fear of intimidation or threats and the feedback has been extremely positive. But I believe there are still many more people that could benefit from this type of product, in turn saving lives and the tremendous cost to society.”
For more information, contact The Safety Letterbox Company on 01639 633525 or visit the website - www.safetyletterbox.com.