An electrical fire(s) is defined as any fire involving electrical failure or malfunction. More than $1.3 billion in home property damages claims are submitted from electrical fires alone. Like any other fire, an electrical fire can lead to explosions, causing even more catastrophic losses, including injury and death.
When you consider the wiring necessary for a home or business 20 years ago, it's vastly different than today's world, making electrical fire investigators with a broad knowledge of codes, equipment and materials critical. In addition, companies now need large data centers, servers, computers, and more, which have unique challenges and restoration needs of their own.
Common electrical fire causes include:
- Faulty, outdated or misused electrical appliances, wiring and components.
- Failures within electrical distribution, lighting, and equipment.
- Improper grounding.
- High resistance or loose connections
- Electrical components/appliances in close proximity to flammable materials.
- Short-circuits, electrical events (lightning storm) or utility incidents in the area.
- Server rooms and other digital infrastructure (can create immense heat).
Envista's electrical engineers and fire investigators possess the experience needed to navigate the entire forensic investigation - from the initial site inspection through expert courtroom presentations both on the subrogation and liability. Our investigations are multidisciplinary and draw upon expertise in fire science, engineering, metallurgy and chemistry to determine the cause of the incident. We have access to the necessary testing equipment such as X-rays, CTs, and microscopy to test and prove our hypotheses. Envista’s investigators can effectively communicate findings clearly and concisely to be easily understood by any individuals including, adjuster, attorneys, jurors and judges.
Electrical Fire Investigative Process
Envista’s experts employ the National Fire Protection Association Standard NFPA 921, Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations, in every electrical fire investigation. Using the scientific method, every potential origin and cause is considered carefully while examining various aspects such as, but not limited to:
- Burn patterns
- Ignition sources
- History of failure
- Arc patterns
- Reviewing manufacturer information and applicable codes and regulations
- Product recalls
- Interviews with owners, tenants, vendors, manufacturers, service providers and so on
Our investigators also use 3D scans through Matterport(R), as needed. This technology often enables quicker answers, interactive 3D modeling, scene documentation and evidence collection, all while providing a real-time experience of the scene review without ever leaving the office. Learn more about this capability.
During the investigative process, Envista experts help to determine potential parties that may be liable for the cause of the fire/explosion. We preserve, collect and store evidence to prevent any spoliation claims. Envista provides expert opinions, thorough technical reports and expert witness testimony to assist with a successful subrogation or liability case.