Property risk

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The risk of property damage is real

Hartford Steam Boiler risk property damage risk


Property damage resulting from electrical breakdowns and failures can be severe

Electrical equipment failure and breakdown are the leading causes of fires. Below, are just a few examples of electrical equipment problems causing significant losses:

  • An iconic New York building at risk
  • Destroying part of a community
  • Damages to property and, potentially, to reputation
Rockefeller Center electrical fire sends NBC out on the sidewalk

At 3:59 a.m. on an October morning, a report of a fire in midtown Manhattan was called in. The address was 30 Rockefeller Plaza, the 70-story home of NBC television.

The impact

  • 320 firefighters took four hours to bring the fire under control
  • Five civilians and 12 firefighters injured
  • 2,000 NBC workers and hundreds of others displaced
  • The “Today Show” moved out of the studio, onto the sidewalk
  • 15 floors occupied by NBC closed for the entire day
  • Floors 16 through 70 closed for part of the day
  • Extensive damage to electrical equipment due to smoke and water throughout the building
  • Total loss: over $20 million
The cause

The fire’s origin was in an electrical distribution room on the 5th floor. The cabling was in open supports. Over the years, as additional cabling was added to meet growing demand, it was jammed into these cable supports, compromising ventilation. Over time the insulation deteriorated, leading to electrical arcing and the fire.  

All that remained were parts of the exterior walls

An electrical problem in an Oklahoma high school resulted in a fire. It began burning on a Sunday and was spotted around 11 p.m.

The impact

  • 60 firefighters from six communities
  • Over six hours to bring the fire under control
  • All that was left standing were portions of some exterior brick walls.
The cause

The fire was apparently started by an electrical short circuit, which smoldered for over two hours before it burst into flames.

An overloaded dimmer switch caused almost a million in damage

At 7 a.m., an employee at a hotel and conference center heard a crackling noise in a light dimmer switch. Ignoring it, he continued to work. Several minutes later, he smelled smoke, called the security guard and tried to extinguish the fire. 

The impact

  • $900,000 in losses
  • Risk to the lives of guests sleeping nearby
  • Loss of business due to building damage
The cause

Investigators determined that the fire began in a 1,000-watt electrical wall dimmer switch that was drawing close to 2,000 watts when it failed.

The building was worth $4.5 million and many guests were sleeping in nearby rooms. Just about every building has dimmer switches. It makes you think – what’s happening behind those walls?

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Ronald (JR) Smith, Director
HSB Thermography Services
Call 216-588-1381

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