I first saw it listed as an "African Pit Bull" on some animal site along
with a flyer from a telephone pole that said "Found - unfriendly cat, no
collar, bad teeth" with a picture of a possum.
The windows I understand, as the fire department needs to vent
the heat and smoke before they clear the scene to make sure
that the fire is actually put out and won't flashover again after they
But the doors ? Did this building not have a knox lockbox for keys ?
Seems like something you would want to look into...
Tenants being home means nothing, some doors will lock behind a
person leaving requiring a key to enter... When people are running
for their lives they don't stop to collect their keys...
Fire Departments HATE to use force to gain entry... Think of it this
way -- every door that has to be forced open in non-lifesaving
is a potential for an on-duty accident and disability, that is a large
exposure for routine entry scenarios... They would rather use a set
keys reserved for their exclusive use secured on the premises in a
knox system keybox...
It sounds as if your building doesn't have one... You should talk to
the people in the fire prevention office/inspection office with the
Fire Department about installing one... A few hundred dollars now
is worth not having to spend that each time a door must be opened
and you or your tenants aren't at home to unlock a door...
There's a much, much worse word you can hear from your adjuster:
Coinsurance. I discovered that if you do not insure for the promised limit
of insurance your become a co-insurer when a loss occurs. You get to share
in the payout burden with the insurance company in paying part of the loss.
Policies typical require you insure to at least 90% of the property's value.
For example a $240,000 value at the time of loss multiplied by 80%
coinsurance (a factor of .80) equals $192,000.
$160,000 limits at the time of loss divided by 192,000, the limit required
(at the typical 90% coinsurance rate required in your contract) equals a
coinsurance penalty factor of .833.
$100,000 amount of loss multiplied by the .833 penalty factor equals $83,300
$83,300 minus the $2,000 deductible equals $81,300
The insurance company pays $81,300. You pay the remainder.
The math has most likely got an error in it, but anyone who's suffered a
loss in the last few years who hasn't substantially upgraded their policy
has likely run into this. It's very common in times of rapidly rising
housing values. "You know about coinsurance? were the first words out of my
adjustor's mouth *after* the fire. )-:
As much work as you did then it was all surface work except for
the new kitchens, fixtures and windows...
A lot of value added exists inside the walls with plumbing and wiring
and having modern facilities for the tenants to access cable and
But if it comes through all openings like switches, sockets, fixtures,
then what you are saying is the wall has to be opened up, so then the
studs can be sealed with primer. its basicly gut everything where
there is smoke inside walls?
I think you should talk to a bunch of pros, who do fire restoration
for a living, and try to figure out what is likely to happen.
It seems only one or two people here have addressed your particular
Ransley if this is such a concern, and you have that much air movement
inside the walls of your building, open up the bottom 6" to 8" of wall
around the perimeter of every room and firestop every penetration no
matter how small with the intumescent goop around every wire and
If no air can move through the walls no odors can move either...
The only concern I would have would be how raunchy things would get
if you had some sort of a leak in one of the smoke damaged units down
the line and you hadn't gutted and encapsulated the non-damaged
non-removable structural elements that have smoke smell in them now...
Unless you plan on washing and painting the inside of all your duct
work (or replacing), there will always be a "possibility" for a smoke-
like smell to return.
From a financial standpoint, Seal as much as you can like the
electrical outlets, woodwork and etc., clean and paint everything you
can. There are Fire Restoration companies that can give you more
advice and what to use.
Let Google be your friend
Hank <~~~ 27 yr Firefighter
Only a trifle. And the fire was elsewhere so this is just how long
the wood smelled.
Long ago, I came across a 6' wide, 6' high booksshelf that was badly
buurned on one side and someone burned on the other (on the backboard
80 square inches of iirc perforated masonite and one side 40 square
inches of 1" wood.) I went into the hardware store a few feet away,
bought a saw, cut it in half and took the good half home. It smelled
of smoke for 3 to 9 months**, the best I can recall, but less and less
of course, and after it stopped smelling hot and humid weather didn't
bring the small back.
**I'm sure it would have been longer if I had put my nose up to the
burnt wood, but I'm only going by what I noticed when I came in the
Maybe I should add that I did nothing to the burnt wood that was left
to get rid of the smell. I didn't expect it to last so long, and I
don't think I wanted to spend time scraping off the ash and charcoal.
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