Fires can be devastating to commercial property owners. When large fires and explosions happen to a commercially-owned industrial property, it can cause billions of dollars in damages. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), an average of 37,000 fires occur at industrial and manufacturing properties annually. The events are often traumatic enough; and, when these losses aren’t covered or are denied by insurance companies, they can become even more cumbersome.
Common Causes of Industrial Property Fires
Industrial property fires can occur for a multitude of reasons. When dealing with the dangerous risk of fires and explosions that can happen in an industrial setting, it’s important to know the common causes, including:
- Combustible dust: Combustible dust is a major cause of fire in industries like food manufacturing, woodworking, chemical manufacturing, metalworking, and pharmaceutical manufacturing because just about everything – even materials that aren’t fire risks in larger portions – can become combustible in dust form.
- Hot work: Activities such as welding, torch cutting, brazing, burning, heating, and soldering all constitute “hot work.” All of these also pose fire hazards due to sparks and molten material, which can reach temperatures higher than 1000 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Flammable liquids and gasses: Flammable liquids and gasses often found in chemical plants such as rocket fuel, acrylic acid, and crude oil, can cause an industrial fire.
- Equipment and machinery: Faulty or malfunctioning equipment and/or machinery can cause an industrial fire. Furnaces that are not properly installed, operated, and maintained or any mechanical equipment in which friction between moving parts occurs can pose fire risks.
- Electrical hazards: Exposed wiring, overloaded outlets, extension cords, and static discharge from electrical hazards can cause sparks, which serve as an ignition source for combustible dust or flammable liquids and gasses.
The Difficulties of Fire Insurance
When catastrophic losses occur due to industrial fires, filing an insurance claim is an important step towards moving forward. However, these claims can be very complex and it’s not uncommon for insurance companies to use tactics that benefit themselves rather than their policyholders.
An insurance company may dispute the costs of repairs and instead only approve inexpensive or inferior repairs for the damage caused by the fire. Intimidation tactics and even blame-shifting are unfortunate realities that can occur when attempting to work with an insurance company regarding industrial fire claims.
Houston Commercial Fire Claim Lawyer
Industrial fires can cause the total loss of a business, and the aftermath can be just as challenging as the fire itself. At Raizner Law, our commercial fire claim attorneys have a history of fighting insurance companies to protect the rights of policyholders throughout Texas and across the country. We are familiar with the hurdles insurance companies put up in an attempt to mitigate their damages; and, we will ensure your insurance carrier honors its obligations. Contact us today for a free and confidential, no-