Fire Origin & Cause


According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there were 483,200 residential and commercial fires in 2018, with 25.6 billion dollars in damage and 3,655 deaths from all fires that year. Nearly 34,000 of the combined residential and commercial fires were caused by electrical malfunction, and more than 26,000 were the result of arson. Other common causes include heating, appliances, and equipment malfunction among others.

VMAR engineers, who are Certified Fire and Explosion Investigators (CFEI), carefully inspect residential and commercial structures to determine the origin and cause of the fire or explosion. We carefully examine the fire damage and burn patterns to identify the origin of the fire. We then inspect the area of fire origin for an ignition source, such as electrical components (wiring, switches, receptacles, etc.), furnaces, fireplaces, or gas appliances. We then look for combustible materials, such as flammable fluids, carpet, upholstery, or added accelerants.

VMAR engineers have investigated residential and commercial building fires involving an assortment of causes, including faulty garage door openers, exhaust vent motors, and electric blankets; loose electrical contacts, build-up of drier vent debris, improperly stored flammable fluids, incorrect light bulbs in fixtures, vehicle fires that have transferred to buildings, and arson.

When You Need to Know . . .

  • Was the fire caused by arson?
  • Was the fire man-made or due to external sources such as lightning?
  • Was the fire caused by a construction defect such as improper wiring?
  • Was the fire caused by a manufacturer's defect, such as a faulty electrical switch or receptacle, light fixture, garage door opener, small appliance, etc.?

Detail of Fire Origin & Cause Investigation and Analysis Service

  • Review and evaluate case file
  • Review approved construction plans, construction inspection reports, O&M reports, and scope of work for available architect, engineer, and contractor contracts
  • Determine "as designed", "as-built", and "existing" conditions
  • Research and analyze applicable building codes
  • Follow NFPA 921 Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations
  • Examination of burn patterns
  • Examination of appliances, venting, HVAC equipment, wiring, switches, receptacles, furnaces, fireplaces, gas lines, etc.
  • Evaluate presence and handling of combustibles
  • Examination of Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)
  • Determine effects of overuse or improper use, along with effects of age, weathering, and environmental conditions
  • Preparation of a fully detailed written report

Our 21 Day

In the world of claims adjusting we know that you usually have only a 30-day window in which to determine the merits of a claim. That's why we promise to handle your assignment and get the completed report into your hands within 21 calendar days.

And we back our promise with this guarantee:

If we do not get your assignment completed within 21 calendar days, then we cut your cost in half.