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The Bottom Line: Arson for Profit

MILWAUKEE -- According to the U.S. Fire Administration arson for profit is insurance fraud, a criminal method of obtaining money from a fire loss policy.

It contributes to the $80 billion in fraudulent claims made in the U.S. annually.

In 2010, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 27,100 home structure fires that were intentionally set.

That same year, arson fires caused 310 deaths, 860 injuries and $551 million in direct property damage.

When property is damaged in an arson for profit scheme, we all pay even if we're not directly affected.

The Coalition Against Insurance Fraud states that arson contributes to higher insurance premiums.

That happens because insurance companies generally must pass the costs of bogus claims, and of fighting fraud, onto policyholders.

Therefore, this contributes to a premium spiral that can price essential insurance coverage, often required by state law, beyond the reach of many consumers and businesses.

Arsonists often times believe they can get away with the crime because the cases are some of the most difficult to prove.

To combat the problem the Bearu of Alcohol, Tabacco, Firearms, and Explosives has the world's largest lab at its disposal.

The lab is based in Washington D.C.

The ATF and State Fire Marshal's Office also use arson sniffing dogs that can detect certin ignitable liquids.

More Facts about Arson: http://www.usfa.fema.gov/fireservice/prevention_education/strategies/arson/aaw13/facts.shtm

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