Failure to Control or Report a Dangerous Fire

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Please note that our PA lawyers can help get a criminal record cleaned or “expunged”; but we do not offer criminal defense at this time, so we do not handle the defense of charges for:

(e) FAILURE TO CONTROL OR REPORT DANGEROUS FIRES. –A person who knows that a fire is endangering the life or property of another and fails to take reasonable measures to put out or control the fire, when he can do so without substantial risk to himself, or to give a prompt fire alarm, commits a misdemeanor of the first degree if:

(1) he knows that he is under an official, contractual or other legal duty to control or combat the fire; or

(2) the fire was started, albeit lawfully, by him or with his assent, or on property in his custody or control.

At first reading of this statute, you might think that all persons have a duty to put out all fires. This is simply not true. The key is, to be convicted for failing to report or control a fire, you must fall into one of two categories. Either, one, you must have had a duty to report or put out the fire (as imposed by your job or by contract) OR, the prosecution must prove that you actually started the fire (or with your assent) or the fire happened on property within your control.

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