This past Friday, the Texas Supreme Court issued its opinion in Gharda USA, Inc. and Gharda Chemicals, Ltd. v. Control Solutions, Inc., United Phosphorus, Inc., and Mark Boyd; a case that will provide defendants with additional ammunition to attack subrogation claims involving fire losses.
The Gharda case involves a warehouse fire with a complex causation theory involving testimony from several experts, including two fire investigators, two chemists, and an electrical engineer. The fire investigators based their opinions on the opinions of the two chemists.
This recall involves Kaldi’s Coffee disposable paper cup sleeves used with 12- and 16-ounce paper cups. The black paper cup sleeves have the “Kaldi’s Coffee” and the company logo printed on the front, and “100% Recycled Paperboard” printed on the back.
Read the full article at CPSC
What is an E-Cigarette?
The e-cigarette, also called a personal vaporizer (PV) or electronic nicotine delivery system, is a battery-powered device that simulates tobacco smoking by producing a heated vapor, which resembles smoke. These devices have become very popular as an alternative to smoking, including among a growing number of individuals who have never been smokers but who enjoy the many flavors and/or the experience of using e-cigarettes.
by Thomas P. Shefchick
Forensic electrical engineering is the practicalapplication of electrical engineering knowledge tolegal questions about electrical phenomena. Practicalelectrical engineering knowledge is obtained fromexperience in designing, installing, maintainingand repairing electrical devices, appliances, andequipment. Reports, demonstrations, depositions,and court testimony are used to explain electricalphenomena to insurers, attorneys, arbitrators, judges,and juries. The area of practice extends from softwarefor computers to the generation and distributionof electrical power, which might be controlled bysoftware, and to consumer products.The electrical engineer explains how the electricalsoftware, equipment, or device functions normallyand why it malfunctioned, violated a copyright, orfailed in this instance causing damage, financial loss,injury, or death. In some instances, the electricalengineer might be retained by a client to verify thatelectricity was not involved with the cause of afire, damage, or injury. Quite frequently, electricalengineers must use mechanical, thermodynamic, andoptical knowledge to answer questions since thegeneration, distribution, and utilization of electricalpower involves mechanical components, which canproduce heat and light.
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.
NFPA 921, Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations plays a fundamental role in fire and explosion investigations. A new edition of NFPA 921 is scheduled to be published in 2014. For years, this document has played a critical role in the training, education and job performance of fire and explosion investigators. It also serves as one of the primary references used by the National Fire Academy to support its fire/arson-related training and education programs. It is imperative that investigators understand the scope, purpose and application of this document, especially since it will be used to judge the quality and thoroughness of their investigations.
Trivia Questions of the Month
The trivia questions are not only fun but informative. Who doesn't like learning something new, right?
Trivia question for August
The first propulsion means for fire pumps, whether they were hand or steamed powered, consisted of human beings pulling the pump. Fire crews from the early 1900s were carried around by people, the apparatus had little room for personnel, they moved slowly and when they arrived at the scene, the firefighters were often too tired to do anything. Luckily, in most cases, the fires died out before they even arrived, so there was little left for them to do.
Towards mid-1800s, and the age of steam, the introduction of the paid firefighters made room for horses to be largely put to use and pull the fire pumps. This improved the response time of the fire brigades, but still didn't solve the firefighter transport issue. People literally ran to the fires and, despite the fact that the pump was already there; they had some resting to do before getting to it. The introduction of running boards and back steps, tail boards, later solved this problem as well.
The continuing development in fire-fighting technologies and equipment made life a lot harder for the horses. The increase in weight of the fire engine slowly turned the horses as ineffective as the people were before them. Often, after half a mile or so, the travel speed would decrease dramatically. This called for a new means of propelling the engines.
Enter the self-propelled fire equipment. The first self-propelled, steam powered fire engine in the US came to be in 1841 and it was built in New York. Strangely enough, it didn't catch on. Firefighters considered such a propulsion solution dangerous and unreliable. It took decades before the steam powered fire engines really caught on.
However, the reign of the steam didn't last long. Despite the fact that steam powered fire engines were still in use, here and there, up until the 1920’s, motorized fire trucks became more and more common by the early 1900’s. Horse-drawn or steam powered engines started being turned into motorized fire engines. By 1913, Ahrens-Fox Manufacturing Company from Cincinnati was the leading company when it came to the conversion. From 1911, Mack Trucks began producing fire trucks, slowly becoming the most famous manufacturer in this field.
Many take the motorized fire equipment we use today for granted. Yes it is big and shiny and very impressive, BUT, when was the first motorized fire engine used and where was it used? What was the first fire department in California to become motorized?
I could ask that you trust to memory, but I know many will go to their computer for help. Good luck.
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