AFM leverages engineering services and works with clients to prevent loss; however, losses do happen. When a client does have a loss, we work with them to learn from it and take steps to help prevent it from reoccurring.
During the renovations of a historic building on campus, a contractor used a cutting torch to remove old plumbing. The sprinkler system had been disabled several months earlier for the renovations. When the day's work ended, the contractors left the site. That evening, a student called campus security to report smoke coming from the building. By the time the fire department arrived, the fire had spread to all three floors of the building and had jumped to adjacent dormitories. Ultimately, the fire had affected 6 buildings and involved more than 170 firemen from 11 different volunteer fire departments. In the aftermath, students were sent home and the semester ended early, just prior to final exams.
The cause of the fire was determined to be a cutting torch spark that had smouldered in nearby combustibles. The disabled sprinkler system compounded the problem. Because the building was unoccupied, the fire was able to grow large before being noticed. By the time the fire department arrived and made sure all students were safe, the fire had grown beyond control.
- Manage hot work using FM Global's hot work programme
- Manage impairments to the sprinkler system using the FM Global Red Tag Permit System.
- Conduct prefire planning with the local fire department so they understand the layout of your facilities and the types of construction that may be involved in a fire.
This loss could have been completely prevented if the contractor had been required to follow a hot work programme. Instead this client suffered not only a large financial loss but many personal, emotional losses. Some quotes from professors:
"I probably have about $10,000 worth of first editions and signed editions in my office. I lost 15 to 20 years of lecture notes and other personal belongings..."
"I've published two books, and all my copies were in that office."
"I had just completed half of a new book, a two-volume collection of letters of a writer named James Dickey. It's all in the office. So much of my life is in there—I do feel like work is important and defines you. I just can't make up for that stuff."