Sorting Out Unmarked Fire Sprinkler Placards Can Be A Lot Of Work

I recently received an order to inspect a restaurant located within a large Union Station building with multiple sprinklers.  Unfortunately, the placards did not appropriately identify the current tenants in all areas of the building.  When you are paid for a routine job, and faced with this lack of clarity, photograph everything.  I based my “guess” on the facilities maintenance personnel’s statement that he “thought” Placard X covered insured’s area.  Not the greatest accuracy.  Suggestions from the field?

Is An Old Screw-In Fuse Panel Dangerous?

I lived in Japan in a small town called Minami-Rinkan. The Minami-Rinkan Station is a railway station on the Odakyu Enoshima Line in the city of Yamato, Kanagawa, Japan. I was stationed at the Naval Air Station at Atsugi, Japan. I flew as a Naval Flight Officer in the EA-3B in Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron One (VQ-1)

The house was old. The fuses were not screw-in fuses, but rather a short piece of s-shaped soft metal that would melt and break the circuit if it overheated. The wiring was old!

The house did not like my washer, dryer, and window air conditioner. I simply added bigger s-fuses that could draw more current before they melted. Yes, it was dangerous. You did not run the washer, dryer or air conditioner when away from the house. The wire in the walls would warm the walls.

Read this online article. You decide if an old Screw-In fuse electrical panel is dangerous. When I rented in Japan, I abused the electrical panel by using fuses that were too much for the wiring. The electrical panel box was probably safe when used properly. I was unsafe.

Personally … when performing a loss control inspection, I would suggest circuit breakers to replace screw-in fuses. Take lots of detailed and sharp photos of the electrical panels for your report. At the end of the day, the insurance underwriter will make the final decision of what needs to be done.

The Wrong Solution To An Attractive Nuisance Problem

The attractive nuisance doctrine applies to the law of torts, in the United States. It states that a landowner may be held liable for injuries to children trespassing on the land if the injury is caused by an object on the land that is likely to attract children.

The insured at this commercial office building has created an obstacle course of sorts to deter local skateboarders from using his lot for uninvited recreational activities.  Rather than fencing the area off or backfilling it in a more permanent manner, he has haphazardly placed parking blocks and large rocks in this otherwise perfect-for-skateboarding area.  Interesting fix.

Inspecting Handrails & Railings

This photo was taken at a rural country club.  This scoreboard has more than 3 risers with no handrail, and the railings are horizontal as opposed to vertical.  Recommendation would be made for installation of a handrail as well as placement of vertical balustrades or enclosure of the open railings.

The lesson here is never leave your car without the tape measure in your pocket.  These balustrades were well over the standard 4″ to 6″ preferred by insurance companies, so I used my pen to gauge their distance.

US currency bills are are 2.61 inches wide and 6.14 inches long and can be used to as a standard for a specified length.