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#147995 - 04/24/03 09:36 AM Fire Hazard? Insurance claim on work lights
Kawartha Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/24/03
Posts: 5
Loc: T.O., Ontario
If someone has a comment it would be appreciated:

Scenario: A $75,000 fire in a home I was the paint contractor, resulted in much smoke & water damage to my equipment. I have a claim with my insurance company. Their adjuster, however, feels my halogen work lights (Home Depot/ $60.00 2 lamps on adjustable stand) are fine since they had no fire damage and only were water splashed, heavy smoke stink, and with ash layed over the metal frame...and settled on the lamp's glass surfaces.

The adjuster says wipe it down it'll be fine. Of course, the heat will make the fire smoke stink...but I'm supposed to 'wash' the lights.

This causes me concern for safety reasons as well as I do High-end paint work in immaculate homes...of non-smokers. It's going to be a worry about leaving lights in a room and walking away. Or is my worry unfounded?

I was told that fire smoke damage could effect electrical components. Also that, if heat had been intense enough, internal melting of wire insultation could be done with no noticable effect on the outside.

Are my work lights a fire hazard?

(Also had a shop vac in the same situation.)

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#147996 - 04/24/03 12:28 PM Re: Fire Hazard? Insurance claim on work lights
cubby964 Offline
Member

Registered: 10/18/02
Posts: 69
Loc: USA
I have a couple sets of snow-shoes that were smoked in a fire three years ago. Washed the bejeezus out of them right after, and have been snow-shoeing in them many times since. They still stink. It may never go away.
In reference to the lights, they are probably not rated for wet environments, and will need to be thoroughly dried out after washing. After that, they should operate fine. If they were only in the smoke and not the actual fire, the insulation on the wire should be rated high enough that it did not melt, and the halogen lamps are about as hot as fire any way. (joke) If you really want to be safe have an electrician check them for ground faults when you are through.

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#147997 - 04/24/03 01:14 PM Re: Fire Hazard? Insurance claim on work lights
Bjarney Offline
Moderator

Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 2561
Loc: West-Southern Inner-Northeast ...
One may argue that the equipment was exposed to conditions beyond those intended by its manufacturer—but $60 is hardly worth a phone call to argue with the cheapskate adjuster. Toss 'em.

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#147998 - 04/24/03 05:06 PM Re: Fire Hazard? Insurance claim on work lights
Kawartha Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/24/03
Posts: 5
Loc: T.O., Ontario
I think I'll print this thread and show it to the adjuster Monday morning. That would be the second adjuster since I refused to sign off on the release. The first adjuster carved my little claim of $1700 to $600 + pay the deductible.

I have 5 large drop sheets- brand new- that were soaked and under mounds of debris from the ripped down ceiling...and the 1st adjuster says I could wash them and reuse them. Incredible.

I've washed rollers and brushes yet when I paint I could smell the fire smoke. It's in the wood handles, the bristles...like the snowshoes- smoke damage there forever.

I agree- toss the lights...or use them only in my shop. I wouldn't take the risk on a clients property...and exactly: they're only $60.00. Basically, I'm replacing all the tools and regulating the smoke damaged ones to shop tools.

Again, I really appreciate the comments. "...the equipment was exposed to conditions beyond those intended by its manufacturer", will definitely be mentioned to the adjuster. The money is only a result- I'm not too worried about that. It's important to defend the principle.

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#147999 - 04/24/03 09:19 PM Re: Fire Hazard? Insurance claim on work lights
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Bjarney,
I agree with ya there, mate.
With the amount of smoke-damaged things I've seen after fires, most of it gets heaved anyway.
Water damage is something you don't really see a lot of these days(at least not over here), us Fire-fighters have pretty much got the technique of using a little bit of water to do a lot, down pat and it's getting better all the time!.
The days of "surround and drown" are thankfully long gone.
_________________________
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

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#148000 - 04/30/03 12:31 PM Re: Fire Hazard? Insurance claim on work lights
Kawartha Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/24/03
Posts: 5
Loc: T.O., Ontario
Thanks for your comments!!!

Just thought to update: I was able to combine the information here as a statement:

“In reference to work lights, they are not rated for wet environments. One may argue that the equipment was exposed to conditions beyond those intended by it's manufacturer. To insure the integrity of the wiring is safe, an electrician should check them for ground faults.”

This was presented in arguement to the 2nd adjuster...coupled with a fire report I recently received from the Freedom of Information Access Act. I also included a copy of this thread topic, pointing out the fire smoke damage comments as well.

I'm satisfied to say that the original adjusters financial assessment, granting only 39% of my claim...was reassessed and 65% of my claim was accepted.

Again, thank you guys for your '2 cents'- the ROI was immediate...I've already been issued a cheque today to settle the claim!


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#148001 - 04/30/03 02:06 PM Re: Fire Hazard? Insurance claim on work lights
Electricmanscott Offline
Member

Registered: 01/12/02
Posts: 1478
Loc: Holden, MA USA
Those halogen work lights are an accident waiting to happen, I certainly would not leave them in a room unattended. I hope you are not on the wrong side of the claim next time.

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