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Firesetting in Swedish Lower Secondary Schools: Causes, Preventive Factors, and Effective Countermeasures

Among the buildings most often targeted by delinquent firesetters are public schools, with larger lower-secondary level schools in larger cities a particularly typical example in Sweden. A point of departure for this study was, however, the understanding that schools are not only common targets for deliberate firesetting, but can, and should, also serve as important arenas and actors in firesetting prevention. Twenty Swedish lower secondary schools that had been recurrently targeted by firesetters were included in the study, half of which were located in the city of Gothenburg and half in the city of Malmö. The study period covered the years 2004 through 2013. A comprehensive range of materials and data was collected and analysed, including register data stored by the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency MSB on fire and rescue service emergency dispatches to schools, data collected through observation of the schools in the sample, interviews with strategically selected relevant actors, documents created by schools and municipalities, statistics compiled by the Swedish National Agency for Education, inspection reports by the Swedish Schools Inspectorate, as well as documents and data from the city of Gothenburg’s insurance company Försäkrings AB Göta Lejon, the municipal school administration of the city of Malmö, the Greater Gothenburg Fire and Rescue Services, and the Region South Fire and Rescue Services in Malmö. The interpretation and categorization of the material proceeded in light of relevant theory and previous research in the area.

Drawing upon a broad set of materials on Swedish lower secondary schools with a high incidence of deliberately set school fires as well as previous research conducted on the subject, the study contributes to a deepened understanding of school firesetting behaviour in our societies, including the importance of the local context of the firesetting events, the exact nature of the problem in all its dimensions, and the significance and effectiveness of different forms of prevention work and types of intervention.

Projectleader
Sofia Persson
Project member
Sara Uhnoo
Duration
2014-2015
Financier
Brandforsk
Final report
https://www.brandskyddsforeningen.se/globalassets/brandforsk/rapporter-2000-2015/brandutsatta-hogstadieskolor-orsaker-preventiva-faktorer-och-effektiva-motatgarder/bf_203_131_rapport.pdf

 

Page Manager: Anders Östebo|Last update: 6/8/2017
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