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Do You Need an O&C?
Wednesday, June 14, 2017

An Origin and Cause Investigation is needed any time responsibility for the fire matters. If there is a potential for legal action – arising out of fraud, subrogation or liability – or the possibility that the story may change, you need an O&C. Remember that there is a legal difference between “knowing” what happened and being able to testify as to the origin and cause.

Check the affirmative answers to determine if you need an Origin and Cause Investigator:

Structure:

☐           Is the fire a suspected arson or otherwise intentionally set?
☐           Did the fire occur at night?
☐           Were there any injuries or fatalities?
☐           Were adjacent properties damaged?
☐           Is there a tenant?
☐           Was the fire cause attributed to the tenant’s possessions or actions?
☐           Does the tenant have renter’s insurance?
☐           Was the fire cause attributed to an appliance or piece of equipment?
☐           Was the fire cause attributed to the structure or its electrical or gas systems?
☐           Does the age of the involved item fall within the limits of repose?
☐           Has it been subject to recent professional repair, service or recall?
☐           Was the fire cause attributed to a utility service act, failure or omission?
☐           Was the fire possibly a result of a lightning strike?
☐           Was CSST (Corrugated Stainless Steel Tubing) present?
☐           Was a lightning arrestor or other protection system present?


Vehicle/Machinery:

☐           Is the involved vehicle the subject of a related recall or service bulletin?
☐           Was the vehicle reported stolen and recovered burned?
☐           Was there evidence of collision damage?
☐           Were there any injuries or fatalities?
☐           Has the vehicle undergone recent professional repair or service?
☐           Does the vehicle’s age/value justify the expense of an investigation?

Weight can be assigned to each "✔" to determine when a threshold for employing an outside consultant has been met.

Click here for a printable version of this checklist.



 
 
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