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Gray, Brian L. Are Fire Departments Costing the Insurance Industry Money? Fire Commentary. Fire Engineering. Vol. 150. No. 1 (January 1997). p 115.

Abstract: It used to be considered good overhaul to throw everything out the window until there was nothing left to burn. But now, at a time when insurance companies are trying to recoup their own losses for paid claims, even fire departments are vulnerable to scrutiny. By not preserving the scene and documenting evidence, fire companies contribute to insurance companies paying out more claims than necessary, and even to the rising of insurance premiums.

It is critical for firefighters to be properly trained in proper salvage and overhaul. The same procedures that apply to a criminal fire should be implemented in civil/accidental fires as well. Efforts should be made to disturb the scene as minimally as possible. If appliances must be removed, do so with care and keep all the pieces together. Take photographs before moving anything. In all cases, this procedure will aid the fire investigator and help the insurance adjuster in deciding how to pursue the claim. And, better working relationships with the police department, the fire marshal's office and the insurance industry will result.

For more information, contact:
Fire Engineering
Park 80 West, Plaza 2, 7th Floor
Saddle Brook, NJ 07663,
Phone: (201) 845-0800
Web Site: www.fire-eng.com

 
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