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Do You Know Your Earthquake Classifications?

Posted by Robert Lacy on December 4, 2018

When the Big One hits, what kind of damage can you expect? While it’s up to fate as to how intense or severe the quake will be — or when it will happen — the fact is set in stone. Earthquakes can and do happen here.

 

 

In fact, Washington state is second only to California when it comes to earthquake risk, and this is reflected in our earthquake classifications.

  

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Topics: Insurance underwriting, Building Construction, GIS Mapping, Inspections, insurance, Hazards

Why Sprinkler Systems Fail

Posted by Robert Lacy on July 17, 2018

In the insurance industry, we consider the automatic sprinkler system one of the world’s greatest inventions. The first modern system was designed and installed in 1812, and by 1890, automated sprinkler technology more or less resembled the systems in use today.

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Topics: Automatic sprinkler systems, Building Construction, Inspections

One Size Sprinkler System Does Not Fit All

Posted by Robert Lacy on May 9, 2016

by Robert Lacy

A company’s storage design (what they're storing and how they’re storing it) determines the sprinkler system for a building. The amount of combustibles stored based on height, storage arrangements and materials all affect how fast a fire grows and thus the amount of water needed.

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Topics: Automatic sprinkler systems, loss cost, rating bureau, Field inspections, GIS Mapping, Inspections, Home Fire Protection

Warehouses - Storage Issues You Should Know

Posted by WSRB on June 11, 2014

Rack storage in warehousing facilities can present a complicated fire risk.  From the types of products being stored to the height of the storage, many factors need to be addressed to properly understand these risks. While this is not a comprehensive guide, it will help you identify common issues with rack storage the next time you’re walking through your customer’s business!

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Topics: Automatic sprinkler systems, GIS Mapping, Inspections, insurance, Hazards

Automatic Sprinkler Testing - Internal Piping Condition and Obstruction Investigation

Posted by WSRB on May 20, 2014

A Confidence Test is the common name of the annual inspection, testing, and maintenance of the sprinkler system. Some tests are commonly done once a year as part of the Confidence Test (such as the main drain or local alarm test). Others are performed less frequently but are just as important (such as a trip test using the inspector’s test outlet for a dry system or an internal pipe inspection). When operated, properly maintained sprinkler systems are effective 96% of the time, according to the NFPA.

Among the required automatic sprinkler tests WSRB requires are:

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Topics: Automatic sprinkler systems, property risk inspections, Field inspections, GIS Mapping, Inspections, insurance, Home Fire Protection

So You Thought That Was a Basement?

Posted by WSRB on February 12, 2014

The decision to rate a lower level as a basement instead of a first floor can mean the difference between treating a building as class rated or specifically rated. For an insured, this can have an effect on how their premium is calculated. However, the distinction isn’t always obvious, especially in the hilly Northwest.

Here is a quick guide to how we treat lower levels in our loss cost reports:

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Topics: property risk inspections, Building Construction, Inspections, Insurance loss cost inspections

WSRB – By the Numbers

Posted by WSRB on January 6, 2014

On November 4th of 2013, WSRB celebrated its 121st anniversary of its very first inspection.  Back then we were known as the Office of the Washington Surveyor, but our functions have remained the same.   Since 1892, WSRB has grown, expanded and strived for the same goal which is providing the best information possible to help our customers properly price and assess risk.

 Because it’s been 121 years since our first inspection, it got us wondering how many inspections we’ve done over the years and that brought us to ‘WSRB – By the Numbers!’

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Topics: rating bureau, Building Construction, GIS Mapping, Inspections, insurance, Insurance loss cost inspections

Commercial Buildings - Top 10 Safety Issues You Need to Know

Posted by WSRB on May 20, 2013

Owning a commercial building or business means having to stay on top of safety issues that you may not otherwise encounter. If you have employees or customers coming in and out of the building, you have the added responsibility of protecting them from unsafe practices as well. During our commercial property inspections, our field reps encounter all kinds of unsafe conditions and fire hazards that affect insurance loss costs. Here are our top 10:

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Topics: Insurance underwriting, loss cost, property risk inspections, GIS Mapping, Inspections, insurance

Agribusiness Risks - Controlled Atmospheric (CA) Warehouses, Part 1

Posted by WSRB on May 13, 2013

Facts about apples from the Washington Apple Commission and how controlled atmospheric (CA) warehouses can preserve this commodity for year-round enjoyment:

  

  • About 2,500 known varieties of apple are grown in the USA.
  • More than 7,500 varieties are grown worldwide.
  • In 2012, the average US consumer ate ~20 pounds of apples.
  • The only apple native to North America is the crabapple.
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Topics: property risk inspections, CSP Codes, GIS Mapping, Inspections

What Do Those Diamonds on Flammable Liquid Containers Mean?

Posted by WSRB on March 25, 2013

My job can be difficult to explain to people outside of the insurance industry. Whenever I meet someone new, they will invariably ask, “So, what do you do for a living?” Generally, I tell them that I inspect commercial properties for fire insurance companies. On one particular occasion, someone then followed up with, “What do those diamonds on flammable liquid containers mean?” The answer is a long one, but certainly helps to make my job quicker and easier.

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Topics: property risk inspections, GIS Mapping, Inspections, insurance, Insurance loss cost inspections, Home Fire Protection