Video: Fire Sprinkler Failure

Video Transcript:

Do you have a fire sprinkler system in your home? Ever wondered what happens when your home’s fire sprinklers malfunction and flood your home? Learn how you should handle the insurance claim to repair your home after a disaster strikes.

Hi, I’m Kerry, a design consultant at Lamont Brothers, Design and Construction. I’ve worked on dozens of insurance jobs, but I’ve only had a few deal with the fire suppression system. Today, we’ll be taking a look into one of our client’s homes that experienced a catastrophic water damage after their fire sprinkler system failed. We’ll help you learn how to make the most of a terrible situation and what you can expect when working with insurance to repair your home.

What Is a Fire Suppression System?

Basically, it’s a giant sprinkler system with water hoses running throughout the entire house. It’s very well mapped out by a specialist to make sure that if there ever is a fire, that the whole home can put that fire out very quickly.

So as you can see above here, there are a lot of pipes and then these little caps that pop off when the fire happens to spread the system out. This is a good example of what it looks like when it’s unfinished or getting installed. And this is what to expect it to look like when it is finished. A lovely white cap flush with your drywall.

What Happened to These Client’s Home?

Well, in this situation, the clients were out of town for a long vacation and it happened to be a major cold snap in the Portland metro area. So their fire suppression system froze. And specifically in this one head, it froze and popped and began to flood the entire home with water. We had about a foot and a half of water on this main floor. It then evenly distributed itself through the duct work and then flooding the entire downstairs, creating a major water loss.

What Do You Do With a Major Water Loss?

So what do you do if you come home and you’re dealing with a major water loss? Well, the first thing is you’re going to be really surprised. You’re going to walk in your door. You’re going to see that there’s water everywhere and it’s going to be a little hectic. The first thing that you should do if you see this much damage is you should go straight to your electrical panel and shut everything off because there is likely going to be water in some of your outlets.

The next thing that you should do is you should call your insurance company and let them know that the loss is happening. And then the very next step would be calling a remediation company to get them to come out here and start mitigating the damage. They’re going to start demoing things. They’re going to start drying things out. That is a really, really important step.

What Do You Do Next?

Once the remediation team has been scheduled to come out here, the next thing that you should do is start cataloging all of your personal property. Build a spreadsheet, take lots of photos, photos of the damage, photos of your clothes, specifically brand names of the photos of your clothes, and put all of that in a spreadsheet so that you can submit that to your insurance company for your personal property claim.

The next thing that should happen is once the remediation team is out here and started doing doing their part, you should start to find a general contractor to work with to get the restoration put back. It’s important to understand that you have the legal right to choose whoever you want to work with.

If you’ve experienced a home disaster and are struggling to understand what steps to take next, you’re not alone. Learn more about how to navigate the tricky process of home restoration with a contractor that understands the vision for the project and the challenges you face by reading the article linked below.

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