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Published On: Tue, Jul 16th, 2019

Arson Among Top Causes for Commercial Building Fires

According to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), Up to 75,000 commercial building fires occur each year in the United States. Harming both humans and property, commercial building fires cause 85 civilian deaths a year, 1,325 injuries, and over $3 billion in property damage. Some primary causes of commercial building fires include faulty wiring, human error, and negligence. One more common reason for commercial building fires is arson.

Arson and Commercial Building Fires

Arsonists usually have a few different reasons to commit this type of crime. They may be the owner of a commercial building and want to collect insurance money, or the arsonist is an unhappy employee who wishes to seek revenge on their boss. In some cases, a particular commercial building was not the target of the arsonist and the arsonist was committing a random act of vandalism. No matter what the reason for intentionally setting a commercial building on fire, the consequences for doing so results in criminal charges being brought against the arsonist.

While each state in the country has their own laws regarding arson, a person who commits this type of malicious criminal act is usually charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony. In many states, arson is always considered a felony and classified as either first, second, third, or fourth degree arson. The charges are determined by the severity of damage caused to the property, if there was intent to commit fraud, and whether the fire had the potential to injure people inside the building. In the state of Oklahoma, an arsonist who is charged with first degree arson can spend up to 35 years in prison and pay up to a $25,000 fine.

photo/ via pixabay

Arson Prevention

Because it is fairly common, commercial building owners should do everything they can to protect themselves against the devastating effects of arson. To protect their property in cases where they are having trouble with their fire detection system, commercial building owners can hire Fast Fire Watch Guards. However, since most arson attacks happen at night, when the commercial building is unoccupied, additional safety measures are often necessary.

Along with having the proper kind of fire detection system installed, commercial building owners should have employees remain vigilant at all times and always report suspicious behavior. The property should always be secured, which includes keeping windows locked when no one is onsite, properly storing flammable materials, and controlling who can enter the premises. It’s also important to inspect fire protection equipment on a regular basis.

Author: Jacob Maslow

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