Division of Fire

Fire Investigation Unit/Arson Unit

Fire Investigation/Arson Unit

Arson is the leading cause of property loss due to fire in the United States and half of all arsons are committed by juveniles. The Cleveland Division of Fire Investigation Unit (FIU)is staffed and operates 24 hours a day to monitor and investigate incendiary, undetermined, suspicious, and multiple alarm fires that occur in the City of Cleveland. FIU also conducts investigations of all fires that result in fatalities or serious injuries, regardless of the cause.

Penalties for Arson

Penalties are enforced for those who commit arson, and in Cleveland parents may be held liable for acts committed by their children. Those wanting to provide information about arson and those seeking investigation of suspected arson, are urged to call the Cleveland Fire Department Arson Unit. All calls are kept confidential, and rewards may apply for some information.

Safety Tips

Many things can be done to protect structures from arson:

  • Since arsonists work mainly at night, illuminating the exterior of a building (including parking lots) can reduce hiding places.
  • Remove shrubbery and signage that obstructs the view of the building from the street to enhance visibility.
  • Restrict access to the roof and upper floors. Fire escapes and stairs should not be accessible at the ground level. 
  • Create a rotating schedule of volunteers to do neighborhood watch, particular duing holiday periods.

The probability of arson increases during holidays or celebrations such as Halloween, the 4th of July, New Year's Eve, and major athletic events, as well as during periods of social unrest.