The number of school fires in Sweden has increased by 47 per cent in two years, the highest since 2008. This is shown in a new survey from the Fire Protection Association, which wants to reduce the number of fires by organizing more “youth activities in socio-economically vulnerable areas.
By – Elodie Lewis
It is not just cars that burn in Sweden. Sweden is now the worst in the world in terms of the number of school fires deliberately started.
The Fire Protection Association’s Survey shows that for two years, intentional school fires have increased by 47 percent – from 292 cases in 2015 to 429 cases in 2017. This is a significant increase.
“The figures are very worrying, we feel it is only a matter of time before a fatality occurs as a result of these fires.
“Unfortunately, this seems to be increasingly regarded as normal. If we had more than 400 cases of deliberate fires in Swedish workplaces, we would have immediately addressed the problem and began to investigate what it was the causes were, ” said Anders Bergqvist, Secretary General at the Fire Protection Association, in a press release.
In addition to the risk of people being injured, the fires have major economic consequences; The cost is calculated annually as up to SEK 1 billion, writes the Fire Protection Association.
In addition, intangible costs are incurred in the form of late school starts and deteriorating school environments, which is a major concern for students, parents and teachers.
However, the number of fires can be reduced, the Fire Protection Association believes if the youth in the country’s problem / vulnerable areas are offered ‘other activities’. “Many schoolrooms should be designed to make deliberate fires difficult to take hold and reduce the risk of fire spreading.
One should also increase the focus on youth activities in socio-economically vulnerable areas, and come up with prevention efforts against bullying and psychological health problems. Students who feel seen, heard and listened to do not burn their school” , says Anders Bergqvist.
The Fire Protection Association now works with the municipal action plans which require students and school staff to be trained in fire prevention work and be informed about the consequences of building fires in schools.
It also advocates for an increase in the Budget with earmarked funds allocated to reduce the risk of deliberate fires. “According to the information we have received, Sweden has the largest proportion of school fires in the world,” says Anders Bergqvist to TT.
He believes that the fires are partly due to the fact that students do not respect their schools. Bergqvist also compares school fires to types of school vandalism in the United States, and points out that there must be something in the environment in the Swedish schools that makes the students choose to burn them.
Read more: From 2018/08/21