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Loss Recovery Guide with Standards
 

1-0) Introduction/Administrative:

1.0) Intension: The intention of the Loss Recovery Guide with Standards (LRGS) is to provide emergency response, mitigation and restoration guidelines that help reduce the costs of processing a property claim in public and private buildings, with its basis on the safety to life and property. 

1.1) Non-Intention: 
The Loss Recovery Guide with Standards is not intended to be a building code, health code or standard, and shall not be used as such.

1.2) Standard vs. Guideline - Discrepancy: In the event of a discrepancy between a building, electrical, mechanical or health standard or guideline, and the standards and guidelines referenced within the Loss Recovery Guide with Standards (LRGS), the more restrictive standard or guideline provision shall supersede the lesser provision.  While adopted building codes shall supersede standards and guidelines.

1.3) Codes, Standards & Guidelines: Since emergency response, mitigation and restoration processes affect buildings, vendors should be familiar with the building codes within the jurisdiction of the loss, as well as have a full understanding of industry standards and guidelines.

1.3.a) Codes: Building codes are ordinances or laws which are adopted by a locality (i.e. state, county or city) with their basis on the safety to life and property of public and private buildings, and regulate the design, construction, materials, use, occupancy, egress, etc.  of buildings and structures. 

Building codes use mandatory phrases, such as; shall or shall not when referring to a specific discipline.

1.3.b) Standards: An industry standard is a written document that defines a level of design, material, or quality of service in the construction industry as recognized by industry leaders, and are generally working documents that are updated periodically.

Standards use mandatory phrases, such as; shall or shall not when referring to a specific discipline.

1.3.c) Guidelines: Guidelines are non-specific principals that provide direction or behavior when determining a course of action.

Guidelines use non-mandatory phrases, such as; should or should not when referring to a specific discipline.  However, guidelines may use mandatory phrases, such as; shall or shall not when referring to a building code or industry standard.

1.3.d) Contracts and Standards: Contractors should include the use and practices of industry accepted standards and guidelines within their contracts:

Emergency work authorizations for water losses or floods should state that the contractors emergency mitigation practices will conform with the; IICRC S500 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Restoration, the NADCA Assessment, Cleaning & Restoration of HVAC Systems, and the Loss Recovery Guide with Standards publications.

Emergency work authorizations for fire and smoke losses should state that the contractors emergency mitigation practices will conform with the; NIDR Guideline for Fire and Smoke Repair, the NADCA Assessment, Cleaning & Restoration of HVAC Systems, and the  Loss Recovery Guide with Standards publications.

1.4) Congressional Mandates: Congress makes national mandates that are in the best interest of the public.  Contractors will encounter several mandates when performing emergency response, mitigation and restoration services:

- The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)
- The Americans with Disability Act of 1990 (ADA)
- The Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act of 1986 (AHERA)
-
The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA)
- The National Energy Policy Act of 1992

1.5) Author/Publisher Liability: While this guide was developed and designed with highest degree of care, neither the authors nor publisher will accept any liability concerning compliance or noncompliance of the guidelines or standards contained within.

The use of the Loss Recovery Guide with Standard (LRGS), or contents contained within the p1m.com website, be it in-full or in-part, by governing authority or agency, insurance company, commercial, institutional or industrial facility, engineer, architect, contractor, third party administrator, etc., shall release to the full extent as permitted by law; the authors, publisher, its agents, employees, directors, officers, shareholders, heirs, executors, successors and assigns, as arising from performance, negligence, liability or tort, be it from; code official, contractor, subcontractor, their agents, assigns, or delegates of service, product, chemical or financial record, with their connection to the recommendation, or reference of the guidelines or standards contained herein.

The disclaimer as further described within this website shall also apply.

1.6) Definitions: The definitions described within Section 1.6 are the intended use of the words found within the Loss Recovery Guide with Standards (LRGS) and shall take precedence over the glossary of terms found within the p1m.com website:

Approved: Refers to a discipline, material or chemical, that after testing and evaluation would be the correct discipline, material or chemical needed to remedy the situation.

Building Assembly: The method of how a building or substrate is constructed (e.g.. steel studs, electrical, mechanical, gypsum board, joint compound, primer, paint, baseboard, etc.)

Cleaning: The removal of contaminates to levels acceptable to public or private health officials.

Competent Person: A person who is capable through training, education or experience to instruct or act upon the matter or matters at hand.  

Could: Possible, maybe, all venues should be evaluated.  

Craftsman: Craftsman describes a skilled person engaged in the mechanical installation, alteration or repair of a structural system or one of its components.

Emergency Services: The services of board-up, temporary utilities or communications, mitigation of structural components or content items, etc. that are required to stabilize and ready a facility for restoration or recovery.

Like Kind and Quality: When destroyed materials or building components are no longer available, the materials or building components specified should be measured by substantially duplicating the destroyed materials or building component with equal value.

Line of Site Rule: Referring to damaged building material conformity, and rules could vary from state to state, and within policy to policy.  When a loss requires the replacement of items and the replaced items do not match in quality; color or size, the insurer should replace all items in the damaged area to conform to a reasonably uniform appearance.

Loss-Mitigation: The scientific approach to emergency services, where post-loss conditions are evaluated and systematically neutralized to reduce latent damages, before they produce irresolvable damages to building components, contents and equipment.

Mycotoxins: Mold (fungi) classified as toxic (i.e. Aspergillus, Penicillium, Fusarium, Stachybotrys chartarum, etc.)

Pre-Existing Conditions:
Referencing the condition of a building component or contents item before a fire, smoke, water or storm loss.  A condition not caused by the peril.

Operating System: (Building System) as referring to electrical (lighting, power), mechanical (plumbing, piping, HVAC), communication (telephone, networks), etc.

Post Condition: Referencing the condition of a building component or contents item  when the damaged condition is a result of the fire, smoke, water or storm loss.  A condition caused by the peril.

Recommendation: Implying, all conditions should be evaluated and tested before making a final decision.

(ref.): The initials ref. when encased within parenthesis and used at the end of a section or subsequent section shall mean a probable reference to the titled section or subsequent section.   

Restoration:
The act of reconstructing something to its original state. Not mitigation or reconstruction

Secondary Damages:
  (1) Post-conditions caused from the affe
cts of a fire, smoke, water or storm loss, (i.e. rust, corrosion, mold, dry rot, etc.) (2) A condition caused during mitigation services due to excess evaporation and unsatisfactory dehumidification. 

Shall: Mandatory, as referring to a code or industry standard.

Should: Recommended, but industry or individual experience can take precedence.

Spoliation: The destruction of evidence relevant to legal proceeding.

Suggested: Implying, to think over; bringing to the mind for consideration.

Technician: (1) A person of competence, who through knowledge and training, is skilled at the processes of mitigation and restoration. (2) Referring to the person performing the disciplines of emergency service, mitigation or restoration (i.e. occupant or property owner).

1.7) Loss Site Inspection: Before emergency services or the mitigation process begins, the loss site should be inspected for safety and health issues.

1.7.a) Electrical Inspection: 
When the integrity of the electrical system or one of its components has been jeopardized after a fire, smoke, water or storm loss, the system and its components shall be repaired per local, regional or national codes.

The inspection of the electrical system and its components shall comply with state statutes, local ordinances, and the standard regulations of the local power company when filed with the state utility commission. 

The electrical inspection after a fire, smoke, water or storm loss should include up and beyond a normal inspection, but not be limited to the following additional items:

Fire/smoke:
- Charring and heat damage to wiring
- Oxide film formation at termination points
- Oxidized metal conduits, enclosures, equipment
  and apparatus both external and internal
- Condensation within metallic and non-metallic
  conduits, enclosures, wiring, equipment and apparatus
- Hydrogen chloride gases impacting on ferrous  and
  non-ferrous metals, equipment and apparatus,
  both external and internal
- Hydrochloric acid formation on ferrous and
  non-ferrous metal, equipment and apparatus both
   external and internal
- Corrosion of fasteners and the substrate that the
  fasteners are attached
 

For additional information on electrical systems damaged by fire and smoke, see Section 6.17.g.

Water/flood:
-
Silt, mud and sediments at wiring, conduits, motors,
  equipment and apparatus
- Oxide film formation at termination points
- Condensation within conduits, enclosures, metallic
  and non-metallic wiring, equipment and apparatus

For additional information on electrical systems damaged by water, see Section 7.30.a.

1.7.b) Building Inspection: Fire, smoke, water or storms can have detrimental affects on the structural integrity of a building and its substrate.  

Buildings after a fire, smoke, water or storm loss shall be repaired per local, regional or national codes.

The inspection of the building shall comply with state statutes and local ordinances. 

The building inspection after a fire, smoke, water or storm loss should include up and beyond the normal inspection, but not be limited to the following additional items:

Fire/smoke:
-
Charring and heat damage to structural framing
  members both wood and metal
- Spalling of masonry and concrete
- Hydrogen chloride gases impacting on ferrous
  and non-ferrous metal and masonry components
- Hydrochloric acid formation on ferrous and
  non-ferrous metal and masonry components
- Corrosion of fasteners and the substrate fasteners are attached
- Open ceiling and floor plenum cavities for hydrogen
  chloride impacting and hydrochloric acid formation
  on structural and non-structural components
- Fire-stopping and fire-proofing materials for heat
  damage and charring

Water/flood:
-
Mold (fungi) formation on organic structural
  and substrate components
- Dry rot or wet rot of organic structural and substrate components
- Secondary damage (mold) formation on structural
  and substrate components


1.7.c
) Mechanical Inspection: Mechanical systems (HVAC, piping, sprinkler, plumbing, etc.) should be inspected after fire, smoke, water or storm loss. 

Mechanical systems when damaged from fire, smoke, water or storm losses, shall be repaired per local, regional or national codes. 

The inspection of mechanical systems shall comply with state statutes, local ordinances, and the standard regulations of the local utility (water/gas) companies when filed with the state utility commission.

The mechanical inspections after a fire, smoke, water or storm loss should include up and beyond the normal inspection, but not be limited to the following items:

Fire/smoke:
-
Heat distortion to HVAC and piping systems
- Hydrogen chloride gases impacting of HVAC
  system components both internal and external
- Hydrochloric acid formation on HVAC system
  components both internal and external
- Soot formation on HVAC system components
  both internal and external
- Hydrogen chloride gases impacting of ferrous
  and non-ferrous piping, valves and fittings
- Hydrochloric acid formation on ferrous and
  non-ferrous piping, valves and fittings
- Dry rot or heat damage to valves and fittings
 
gaskets, pipe wrap/dope, screens, etc.
-
Corrosion of fasteners used on both HVAC
  and piping systems and the substrate that the
  fasteners are attached
- Charring and heat damage to electrical or electronic
  components feeding and within HVAC and piping systems
- Clogged drains due to debris

Water/flood:
-
Mold (fungi) or bacteria formation within a HVAC
  systems due to direct contact with water
- Mold (fungi) or bacteria contamination due to
  fall-out or ventilation infiltration

1.7.d) Health Inspection: Fire, smoke, water or storm losses can produce by-products and secondary damages that can cause health complications.

When localities (i.e. municipal, county or state) have adopted health code standards, contaminates shall be reduced to levels set-forth by the governing authority or public health official. 

When localities do not have health code standards in-place, contaminate levels should be reduced to levels acceptable to private health inspectors.

Health inspections could include, but not be limited to the following listed items:

Fire/smoke:
- The decomposition of hazardous substances for
  possible gases, vapor and solid deposits
- Carbon monoxide off-gassing
- Hydrogen cyanide off-gassing
- Bacteria due to protein fires

Water/flood:
-
Bacteria, both gram-positive and gram-negative
- Microbial aerosol
- Fungi mycotoxins

The inspection and testing for bacteria, mold (fungi), or other health issues. after a fire, smoke, water or storm, should be performed by an industrial hygienist or competent person.

1.8) Subcontractors: Contractors engaged in emergency, mitigation and restoration services could require the specialty services of various subcontractors such as electrical, plumbing, heating, air conditioning, roofing, etc.

Subcontractors, when not familiar with mitigation or restoration services or indoor air quality (IAQ) issues, should be made aware of foreseeable and unforeseeable IAQ and safety issues.

Subcontractors should be licensed and have adequate insurance coverage.

1.9) Quality Control and Assurance:  Contractors performing, emergency, mitigation and restoration services should have a quality control and assurance (QC&A) program in place as outlined in Section 5.0.

1.10) Spoliation: Mitigation or restoration services within the origin room should not commence until the adjuster or loss cause and origin person has granted permission. Moreover, the altering, or removal of an item of subrogation potential should not be performed until directed by the insurance adjuster or loss cause and origin person.

There are emergencies situations where the contractor could be required to perform mitigation within the origin room, as well as the replacement of the origin item itself.  These types of situations could be for; hot water tanks, plumbing leaks, furnace (parts) replacement, etc., on weekends, holidays or during cold weather months. 

When a contractor is confronted with this type of situation, every effort should be taken not to spoil the evidence.  This is best achieved using a properly thought out and implemented approach of; thorough evaluation, carefully written documentation, detailed drawings and photographs as outlined in the NFPA 921 Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigation.

When in doubt about potential subrogation with respect to the replacement of an item or the part of an item, the person in charge of the claim; risk manager, adjuster, third party administrator, etc. should be consulted.

The item or items of origin or cause should not be disturbed until an evaluation of documentation, drawings, and photographs are completed.  The efforts when removing an item of origin or cause should be that of conscience, so the loss scene is that of re-created and easily understood by those not familiar with the loss or loss site

 


Extracted from the Loss Recovery Guide with Standards (LRGS)
© Copyright 1998-2008 William Yobe


 

 

 

 

Sun-Brite Professional Services, Inc.

1654 W. Knudsen Dr.

Phoenix, AZ 85027