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by Charles C. Roberts, Jr. Ph.D., P.E. Reprinted from "Claims Magazine"


Fires started by furnaces have been a major factor in losses associated with residential and commercial property. The beginning of the heating season usually brings a rash of fire losses as marginal equipment that survived the previous season fails, causing a fire.  During the heating season[,] as cold spells occur, marginal equipment is often over stressed, resulting in a fire.  After a thorough burn pattern analysis is performed on the building and a preliminary assessment indicates a furnace related fire, a closer look at the furnace installation may be fruitful.  The following is a listing of some typical fire causation modes associated with furnace (and boiler) fire losses that may be helpful in a causation analysis:

Combustible Material near the Furnace

Some furnace rooms act as a depository for the cardboard boxes, garbage and other combustible materials.  Placing these items close to a furnace can cause a fire as a result of heat transfer from the furnace or flame follout from the draft diverter.  Check for the remains of unusual combustible material near the furnace.  Inquire as to what was in the furnace room at the time of the fire.



From Out of the Abyss...

This week’s article from the past is titled Incendiary Fires Can Be Spotted and was written by Benjamin Horton, CPCU, who was President of the National Adjuster Traing School in Louisville, Kentucky..  It is taken from the Decembe 1968 Vol. XVI No.5 issue.

Incendiary Fires Can Be Spotted 

In the new issue of NFPA Journal®, President Jim Shannon said the Association will focus on the leading causes of home fires, including cooking. "We also need to continue to push hard for home fire sprinklers. That's still a large priority for NFPA, and we plan to work very aggressively in 2014 on our residential sprinkler initiative," he said.



What is Ethics?  There are many famous people throughout history who have commented on this topic.

~~“The most important persuasion tool you have in your entire arsenal is integrity.”  ~Zig Ziglar

 ~~“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.”  ~Aristotle

 ~~“Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.”  ~C.S. Lewis  

FREMONT INSURANCE COMPANY, Plaintiff-Appellant/Cross-Appellee, and STEVE FOLEY and DIANE FOLEY, d/b/a RAINBOW CREEK FARMS, Appellants/Cross-Appellees, v. GRO-GREEN FARMS, INC., Defendant-Appellee/Cross-Appellant. No. 324075. Court of Appeals of Michigan. March 17, 2016

Before: K. F. KELLY, P.J., and FORT HOOD and BORRELLO, JJ.


Plaintiffs appeal as of right from orders of the trial court granting defendant's motion for summary disposition and motion in limine. On appeal, plaintiffs argue that the trial court erred in granting defendant's summary disposition on plaintiffs' tort claims on the basis of the economic loss doctrine, erred in granting defendant's motion for summary disposition on the basis that plaintiffs failed to provide defendant with reasonable notice pursuant to MCL 440.2607(3)(a), and erred in granting defendant's motion in limine and prohibiting evidence relating to "clinkers." Defendant cross appeals as of right, asserting alternative grounds for affirmance of its motion for summary disposition and motion in limine, and disputing the trial court's denial of its motion to amend its witness list. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

 You can access the full article in the members only section

Submitted by Larry Luckham San Rafael Fire Department

One evening around 6:15 PM a few months ago I received a page to a reported structure fire at an address I knew to be a hotel.  I responded and arrived several minutes after the first-in engine company had reported on scene.  Enroute I understood from radio traffic that the fire was extinguished by the building sprinkler system, and a second crew was securing the sprinkler system to shut off the water.

As I entered the building I was directed by a firefighter to the second floor elevator lobby where a crew was busy with dewatering. The Captain showed me where the fire had started, which was in a trash container closet just off the elevator lobby. The closet itself was bare except for two 40 gallon plastic trash cans with black plastic liners. There was no sign that there had been any fire at all. The white enamel walls were clean, without even smoke deposits.

"Ski" Scholarship

Ski_web"SKI Scholarship" applicants must be a public sector investigator and be from an agency that does not have funding available. Applicants that are forced to pay out of pocket in order to attend our conferences are encouraged to apply. The number of available scholarships is dependent on the amount of contributions we receive, but there can be as many as three recipients per conference. Scholarship funding can be applied toward:

1) Membership registration (if they are not current members)
2) conference registration
3) hotel lodging
4) meal expenses
5) travel expenses


Go here to print and fill out the application.

Please contact me with regard to any questions, comments or suggestions.


Bill Kilpatrick
Chairperson Scholarship Committee
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