For Immediate Release
Toronto, ON—Arson is the leading cause of fires affecting Canadian places of worship. Since January 2017, there have been at least six fires reported as suspicious or confirmed to be arson targeting a church and a mosque in Ontario, two churches in Alberta and two churches in British Columbia.
The physical and emotional damages resulting from arson can be enormous and can include the total or partial destruction of a heritage building; irreparable damage to furnishings, stained glass windows or other unique architectural elements; the destruction of invaluable religious items; and the temporary, or even permanent, loss of a community’s consecrated place to congregate. It is a sad reality that Canadian places of worship must remain vigilant and make a concerted effort to mitigate the risk of arson.
As the specialist insurer of choice for over 50% of Canada’s faith communities, Ecclesiastical has extensive expertise in arson prevention risk management. Colin Robertson, VP, Operations & Risk Control, and his team of Risk Control Specialists, are often called upon to present workshops and seminars that help faith communities identify and manage the risks related to arson.
Mr Robertson points out that there is a pattern of activity leading to arson: graffiti, breaking windows, tearing down signs, leaving broken bottles or trash on the property. In fact, repeated acts of vandalism can ultimately result in a more serious arson attack. Ecclesiastical has developed an in-depth arson-prevention White Paper entitled Understand, Manage and Reduce the Risks of Arson. To access a copy, visit our website at www.ecclesiastical.ca