State Farm Insurance Post-Fire Assessments

Project Overview

OAC’s structural team has conducted several post-fire assessments for the State Farm Fire and Casualty Insurance Company over the last eight years as part of an ongoing master services contract. The majority of these events have involved wood-framed residential structures; however some have involved buildings constructed of steel elements.

Fires can be the cause of some of the most devastating damage to building structures. Often, structural engineers are called in immediately following the suppression of the fire to assess the safety of the structure for entry by occupants, owners, fire investigators, repair contractors and other persons. OAC has conducted various post-fire assessments aimed at identifying unsafe areas of the structure that must be blocked from access. Sometimes, OAC has specified shoring to enable temporary safe access.

Often, preliminary findings are summarized in a report that is produced as soon as possible following the initial inspection. For some projects, OAC has stayed on as the engineer of record to carry out more detailed analyses regarding structural integrity, code issues, and to provide drawings used for the repair and/or reconstruction of the building. Often, a fire forces the owner of the building to deal with mandatory code upgrades or the repair of latent defects in the structure. This requires our engineers to work closely with the building department with jurisdiction to ensure specific concerns of the building official are satisfied.

OAC works closely with its insurance company clients to answer their questions and respond diligently to concerns throughout the claim process.

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