Almost half of all fires are set deliberately, according to the Arson Prevention Forum, costing insurance companies more than £1 billion each year.
The statistics come as people are being asked to do their bit to tackle fire-crime this week, as Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue service join the Forum to host Arson Awareness Week.
Brigade spokesman Andy Martin said: “Arson is a significant drain on our resources and can put lives in danger, destroy buildings and be devastating.
“If you see anyone setting a fire deliberately, ‘don’t accept it, report it’”. Use 999 for the Fire Service if lives or property are at risk. If not call the Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”
Deliberate fires cost a vast amount of money, but also endanger life, with a significant number of lives lost as a result. In 2014/15, 50 people died in fires that were started deliberately.
In Bedfordshire, a successful anti-Arson campaign has seen incidents fall by 35 per cent between 2010/11 and 2015/16.
There were 650 cases of arson in 2015/6, down from 993 in 2010/11.
The majority of arson attacks are against outdoor structures or against vehicles, while arson against buildings and dwelling only accounted for 90 incidents in 2015/6.
This Arson Awareness Week runs until March 27.
For more advice on arson prevention and reduction go to www.bedsfire.com/CommunitySafety/Arson/Pages/default.aspx