Insurance Perspective: Causes and effects of industrial fires
H. K. M. Msalangi (The Institute of Finance Management, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania)
Download Article | Published On 01/07/1996


Fires do not simply happen. They are almost always caused by a hazardous act. Lack of suitable written material 011 different causes of fires that have occurred in Tanzania makes it difficult to diagnose and suggest appropriate­ ate remedial measures to prevent their recurrence in future. Faulty approach by experts in identifying and analyzing causes of fires has also rendered the exercise to establish causes of fires to be mere guess-work. The "cause un­ known” syndrome has invariably featured in most reports submitted by Insurance Fire Loss Adjusters and Assessors. The National Insurance Corporation of Tanzania has not kept appropriate statistical records on causes of fires which is a problem likely to militate against making appropriate decisions aimed at fire prevention and control. The effects of fires are, however, always immense. Fire affects not only the person whose property is destroyed but also many others such as traders, creditors, employees, members of the public, and the Government. Property worth billions of Tanzania shillings has been destroyed between 1978 and August, 1995. Although the owner of such property may be properly reimbursed by insurance physical items destroyed by fire are a loss to the national economy and labor and materials must be expended to replace them. There is not only loss of the property but also the consequential loss should be considered, such as the interruption of normal production.

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