Arson Paper

Submitted By chaser969
Words: 1053
Pages: 5

Arson What is arson? Arson, according to the Webster’s Dictionary, is the willful or malicious burning of property (for example, a building) especially with criminal or fraudulent intent. Or in common terms, it’s the illegal burning of a building or other property and the crime of setting fire to someone’s property. Arson is the number one cause of all fires in the United States. Arson is prosecuted on how badly the incident is. First degree arson normally occurs when innocent people are harmed or killed by the fire started, while second degree arson occurs when property is destroyed or ruined. While usually a felony, arson may also be charged as a misdemeanor in some small cases. In 2010, 15,475 law enforcement agencies provided a year’s worth of arson data and reported 56,825 arson incidents in a single year. Also in 2010, U.S. fire departments responded to approximately 260,600 fires that were started on purpose by arsonist. These fires caused 1.2 billion dollars’ worth of property damage and almost 1,400 injuries. There are many reasons why people start fires and destroy property; vandalism, crime concealment, profit, and revenge are the most common motives. According to a report from the FBI in 1987, profiled arsonists have below normal IQ levels between 70 and 90. Mental issues and anger are some reasons why people start fires. Pyromaniacs are an example of people having mental issues that deal with fire. Pyromania is an impulsive control disorder in where individuals continually fail to resist the urge to start fires on purpose, in order to relieve stress or for instant gratification. Some arsonist are pyromaniacs who start fires just for the thrill of it. Another reason arsonists start fires is for insurance fraud or reasons to do with money. People will burn or have someone burn down their house to get an insurance claim out of it. Also, failing business owners may have their store or warehouse burned down for the same reason.
Arson incidents require certain people to investigate the fire. They investigate to discover if the fire was an accident or if it was intentional. These people are called arson investigators or fire investigators. Their job is 3 jobs in one; they are part scientist, law enforcer, and part engineer. The fire and arson investigators job is to find out how, why, and who the fire was started by. They are also responsible for obtaining the proper resources and authority to deal with arsonists. An arson investigators main job is to determine who set the fire, and the fire investigator is responsible for determining the source and cause of the fire. Fire and arson investigators work together on suspected arson incidents to quickly and efficiently solve arson incidents. Typically, fire and arson investigators in the public sector are employed by cities or counties fire or police departments, and state and federal agencies. Arsonists start fires based on location. Before deciding on a location to start a fire, they consider the fuels around the location and how quickly or slowly the fire will burn. Many factors are involved in where an arsonist will start a fire. Arsonists also consider starting a fire where it will seem obvious for an accidental fire to start. Such as a basement furnace or an attic electrical fire. More experienced arsonist rely on fuel sources that are already on scene or in a house rather than bringing materials to burn. Experienced arsonist also use incendiary devices that will quickly burn to start fires. Amateur arsonist use flammable liquids more often due to the minimal effort it takes to ignite the fuel. No matter the skill level, all arsonists have the same goal, to burn or destroy someone else’s property.
Some arsonists start only one fire and never get caught. Like murderers, there are serial arsonists who start many fires. One of the most famous serial arsonists is John Orr. John Orr worked for the Glendale fire department and was a fire