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Iowa Department of Public Safety
215 East 7th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319

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For immediate release: Alex Murphy
  Public Information Officer
Investigative Operations
Iowa Department of Public Safety
Wednesday, May 5, 2010

(515) 443-3014 - cell
(515) 725-6189 - office


Take time during Arson Awareness Week to evaluate your business’ security level and how you can protect it from arson in the future.

Des Moines, IOWA --- Now that you’ve taken time to conduct a risk assessment in and around your business, it’s time to set in place a few security measures.  Today the State Fire Marshal’s Office is offering up for you easy, suggested steps you can take to protect the inside of your business from an arsonist.


  • Use properly installed deadbolt locks on all exterior doors.  If an arsonist can’t get in, they shouldn’t be able to set fire to your inventory!
  • Windows that can be opened should have adequate locks-preferably locks on the inside.
  • Consider decorative or wrought iron protection for windows. (Windows used as emergency exits must still be able to be opened in an emergency.) Doors should have similar protection.
  • Install a combination burglar and fire alarm with a phone dialer.
  • Keep a current list of all individuals that have access to keys and change the locks periodically.  This is particularly important if you have a disgruntled employee or contractor.
  • Make sure you are emptying trash and taking out other ignitable materials (like cardboard, paper or fabric) on a regular basis.  If it’s not lying around, they can’t set it on fire!
  • Keep cleaning supplies, gas and other flammable liquids in a locked cabinet.

The Office of the State Fire Marshal investigated 14 arson fires at businesses across Iowa in 2009.  Don’t let you and your business become victims of arson in 2010.


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