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Fire - Explosions Cause / Origin Expert Witnesses

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Scientific Advisory Services, Ltd.
3 Baker Hill Road
Great Neck NY 11023
USA
phone: 516-482-5374
fax: 516-482-1231
Dr. C.J. Abraham, P.E. is a Certified Professional Chemical Engineer with over thirty years of international experience consulting to insurance companies, municipalities, government agencies, and the legal profession. He provides consultation to International corporations in the areas of New Product Development, Manufacturing, Packaging, Warnings and Instructions. Dr Abraham's services include Expert Witness Testimony for both Plaintiff and Defense in matters involving Personal Injury and Product Liability.

Areas of Expertise:
  • Construction Accidents
  • OSHA
  • ADA
  • Labor Law
  • Human Factors
  • Household / Industrial Products
  • Safety Engineering
  • Retail Store Safety
  • Industrial Hygiene
  • Textiles
  • Fires / Explosions / Flammable Fabrics
  • Slips / Falls
  • Recreational / Sports Accidents
  • Toxic Exposures
  • Over the course of several decades sports protection technology has been developed and optimized so that the users of various sports products have been offered a means to protect themselves from serious and permanent injuries. However, due to size, weight and shape of helmets and protective gear, the protection, at best, is limited

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    John M. Agosti
    President
    Located in the Chicagoland area
    IL 60084
    USA
    phone: 847-682-6793
    fax: 847-487-8142
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    Experienced in Fire Cause and Origin, Arson Prosecution and Defense, Product Subrogation, Fire and Building Codes, Life Safety Codes, Fire Injuries and Fatalities, as well as Fire Department Operations and Management.

    With over 28 years of fire department experience and 15 years in the private sector, Mr. Agosti has completed over two thousand investigations of fires, explosions, and life safety incidents. He has testified in both federal and state courts for both plaintiff and defense clients.

    John Michael Agosti & Associates provides assistance to insurance companies, attorneys and other agencies in the determination of cause and origin in fires and explosions.

    Our goal is to provide independent and articulate findings to you the client, quickly and accurately.
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    Albert Ferrari, P.E., C.S.P.
    Principal
    1000 Elbert Street
    Oakland CA 94602
    USA
    phone: 510-530-4777
    fax: 510-531-3675
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    Albert Ferrari, P.E., C.S.P. is a Mechanical Engineer and Safety Professional experienced in both the micro and in the macro focus. Mr. Ferrari is particularly sensitive to reliability, safety, and function. His Forensic Engineering experience includes 25 years in Accident Reconstruction, Causal Analysis, Failure Analysis, Codes, Standards and Regulations, Consulting and Testimony.

    Mr. Ferrari provides Expert Witness Consulting and Testimony services to Defense attorneys, Plaintiff attorneys, Claims adjusters and Insurance companies.

    Engineering Work Includes:
  • Automotive Engineering
  • Pedestrian Facilities
  • Machine Design
  • Thermal and Mechanical Energy Analysis
  • Structural Load and Stress Analysis
  • Piping and Tanks
  • System Safety and Human Factors Analysis for Design of Hazardous Equipment
  • Evaluations Include
  • Cause of Injury, Loss and Damage
  • Adequacy of Products, System, Materials
  • Standard of Care of Design, Use, Repair
  • Cause and Origin of Fires; Arson
  • Services Include:
  • Investigation and Consultation
  • Diagnostics, Testing and Analysis
  • Technical Photography and Video
  • Literature and Standards Studies
  • Codes and Regulations Analysis
  • Reports and Testimony
  • Evaluations
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    Dr. Michael Fagel, PhD, CEM
    837 Hoyden Ct
    Sugar Grove IL 60554
    USA
    phone: 630-234-6611
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    Dr. Michael J. Fagel, PhD, CEM has over 30 years of broad based experience in a variety of fields relating to Threat & Vulnerability Assessment, Consequence Management & Emergency Management. He provides specialized assistance in OSHA compliance assistance and training in Disaster Management, Emergency Response as well as Occupational Safety and Health.

    Aurora Safety has extensive experience in litigation guidance drawing from decades of experience in all phases of safety and emergency response and planning. They provide guidance to attorneys and insurance companies on a variety of topics and offer effective evaluations regarding the many facets of each case.

    Dr. Fagel provides expert witness services to cases in across North America. He has served various Federal Agencies providing Occupational Safety Services at disaster sites. He also was EMS coordinator for the fire rescue division in North Aurora, as well as serving as an officer in the local fire service. Dr. Fagel currently teaches industrial safety and emergency medical services at several college locations and lectures at various professional trade conferences throughout the country. He offers Expert Witness Services and Litigation Support to attorneys representing both Plaintiff and Defense.

    Areas of Expertise:
    • Disaster Management and Recovery
    • OSHA Compliance
    • Voluntary Protection Programs (VPPs)
    • Fire, EMS, Disaster Management
    • Site Inspections
    • Training Assessment Management and Development of Safety Programs
    • Critical Incident / Crisis Management Site Inspections
    • Safety Audits
    View Consulting Profile.
    4/24/2014 · Security
    At schools, campuses, sporting events, and retail facilities, those thoughts ring out day after day. We have watched with horror the increasingly more frequent news of violence at establishments we once thought "safe" from wanton violence. One has to just scan the news to see that no place is immune from any type of random act that injures or kills innocent civilians, be it a movie theater, retail mall, sporting event, school, or church. In this column, let's take a look at a few basic elements.

    3/26/2014 · Security
    We often times think of our own facilities, our sites as something no one would want to harm... or would they?

    Michael J. Fagel, PhD
    Emergency managers and officials have seen a tremendous increase in the planning responsibilities placed on their shoulders over the last decade. Crisis Management and Emergency Planning: Preparing for Today's Challenges supplies time-tested insights to help communities and organizations become better prepared to cope with natural and manmade disasters and their impacts on the areas they serve.
    Michael J. Fagel, PhD
    This book offers preparedness and mitigation recommendations for advanced emergency planning. Because disasters are so unpredictable, advance planning is needed to effectively respond to and mitigate against the potential effects of such events. More than a dozen contributors offer their professional expertise on a wide variety of topics.
    Michael J. Fagel, PhD
    This book provides a clear and up-to-date understanding of how an EOC should operate within the guidance of various federal and national programs. It discusses the processes and systems that must be considered in emergency planning and preparedness efforts, and provides time-tested tips for those developing and revising emergency preparedness plans.
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    Iola Goeke
    3660 Hartsfield Road
    Tallahassee, FL 32303

    USA
    phone: 850-558-3100
    fax: 850-575-8454
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    B.E.C. Consulting, LLC was established in 1982. Since that time, we have provided top-level consulting engineering services and accident reconstruction to our clients; law firms, insurance companies, state and local agencies, manufacturing companies, and clients who are seeking product design analysis and other engineering related services.

    Our engineers represent a broad range of engineering disciplines which enables us to work on a variety of cases using the team approach. The teams at B.E.C are comprised of Engineers, Technical Specialists, Graphics Specialists, as well as Research and Administrative Personnel, so that each case is given personal attention and is handled efficiently and effectively. Our offices are located in Tallahassee, Jacksonville and Venice working in almost every state in the United States, including Alaska.

    Areas of Expertise:
    • All Areas of Accident Reconstruction - Including Automobile, Tractor-Trailer, Motorcycle/Bicycle & Pedestrian
    • Engineering Consulting
    • FARO 3-D Scanning
    • Black Box Downloads
    • Construction Zone / Roadside Safety
    • Industrial Equipment
    • Failure Analysis
    • Product Design
    • Product Development
    • Material Handling System
    • Biomechanical Analysis
    • Slip / Trip / Fall
    • Computer Animation, Electronic Graphics
    Every aspect of our firm is designed to serve our clients needs; conference rooms for mediations and depositions, a research and testing lab, secured evidence storage, facilities for expert inspections, and easy access to airport and hotel facilities for our out-of-town clients. We are truly a full service engineering firm.

    Because of this team approach and a commitment to customer service, B.E.C. has attained regional and national recognition as a leader in forensic engineering services and new product development. This excellent example and tireless dedication to serving our client’s needs has resulted in a devoted client base and reputation second to none.

    Dr. Charles Benedict, P.E., founded Benedict Engineering Company in 1982 and our name has since changed to B.E.C. Consulting, LLC. He has over 35 years experience in the fields of product and machine design and analysis, vehicular accident reconstruction of all types, and product and system failure analysis. He has designed, developed, manufactured, and tested more than sixty different products and machine systems. Dr. Benedict is well respected in the fields of forensic engineering, product and machine system design and analysis and patenting.

    Expertise:
    • Biomechanics
    • Occupant Kinematics
    • Vehicle Restraint Systems
    • Vehicle Controllability
    • Material Handling
    • Patent Infringement
  • Automobile Accidents
  • Pedestrian Accidents
  • General Engineering
  • Product Design
  • Fire and Explosion Analysis
  • Tractor / Trailer Accidents
  • Electrical Issues
  • Dr. Brian Pfeifer, P.E., is also a principal with B.E.C. Consulting, and has been practicing forensic engineering for over 15 years. He holds several patents on roadside safety devices and studied roadside safety at the University of Nebraska. He is a consulting engineer with a strong background in the design, development, and implementation of roadside safety hardware. His current work consists of vehicular accident reconstruction, analysis of maintenance of traffic issues, premises liability, investigation and analysis of mechanical systems and product failures, and development of automated material-handling systems.

    Expertise:
    • Roadside Hazards
    • Vehicle Controllability
    • Occupant Kinematics
    • Roadway Design
    • Guardrails and Bridges
    • Maintenance of Traffic
    • Roadway Design
  • Automobile Accidents
  • Pedestrian Accidents
  • Tractor / Trailer Accidents
  • Slip / Trip / Fall
  • Product Design
  • General Engineering
  • Mrs. Traci Campbell, P.E., CXLT, is an Industrial engineer with specialties in industrial accident reconstruction, including forklifts, construction machinery, appliances, and manufacturing equipment. Her experience includes vehicular accident reconstruction involving automobiles, trucks, tractor-trailers, and recreational vehicles, as well as slip, trip, and fall analysis, product failure analysis, and workplace-safety related issues.

    Expertise:
    • Industrial Accidents
    • Safety Analysis
    • Product Design / Failure Analysis
    • Slip / Trip / Fall
    • Guarding / Warnings
    • Workplace Safety
    • Bicycle Accidents
    • Confined Spaces
  • OSHA Regulations
  • Pedestrian Accidents
  • Automobile Accidents
  • Tractor / Trailer Accidents
  • Human and Environment Interaction
  • Theme Parks / Recreation Facilities
  • Airbag and Black Box
  • General Engineering
  • Mr. Chris Yates, P.E., is a Mechanical engineer and Principal with our firm, specializing in accident reconstruction. His current work involves the analysis and reconstruction of vehicular accidents, including vehicular dynamics and occupant restraint as well as the investigation of industrial accidents and product analysis.

    Expertise:
    • Black Box Analysis
    • Motorcycle / Bicycle Accidents
    • Mechanical Design
    • Product Guarding Design
    • Fire and Explosion
    • Seat Belt Analysis
  • Automobile Accidents
  • Pedestrian Accidents
  • General Engineering
  • Product Design
  • Tractor / Trailer Accidents
  • Slip / Trip / Fall
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    Thomas H. Burtness, PE
    2195 Wagon Trail Rd.
    White Heath IL 61884
    USA
    phone: 217-687-2000
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    Thomas Burtness Electrical Engineering Expert PhotoThomas H. Burtness, PE, is an Electrical Engineer specializing in both Electrical and Building Construction - equipment selection, specification, and installation (actually “working with the tools”), as well as cost control techniques.

    Background - Mr. Burtness has 40+ years of experience in the design, specification, construction contract administration, installation, startup, and troubleshooting of electrical power, on-site generation, distribution, control, and instrumentation systems and equipment for residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal occupancies. His experience also includes water, wastewater, and stormwater treatment plants, and military facilities.

    Additional expertise includes Illumination Engineering for street, roadway, and area lighting including photometric footcandle requirements, calculations, field verification, equipment specifications, installation, and analysis of failure, glare, overlighting and underlighting.

    Litigation Support - Since, 1981, Mr. Burtness has been providing forensic electrical engineering services to insurance companies and attorneys including accident and failure investigations, determination of cause and origin, litigation support, expert opinions, reports, and testimony. His services are available nationwide, with PE registration by comity available in most states.

    Cases Involve:
    • Industrial Accidents
    • Electrocution
    • Personal Injury
    • Fire
    • Equipment and Machinery Failure
  • Failure of Safety Circuitry
  • Grounding
  • Lightning Damage and Fire
  • Construction Defects / Contract Claims
  • Design and Specification Disputes
  • View Thomas Burtness' Consulting Profile.
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    Leslie Noel
    Marketing Director
    Corporate Headquarters
    11321 Plantside Drive
    Louisville KY 40299
    USA
    phone: 800-482-5611
    fax: 502-267-6973
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    Donan, a family owned company founded in 1947, provides full-service Forensic Engineering and Fire Investigation Services. For over 60 years, Donan Engineering has been providing unbiased answers to their client’s complicated questions. Their team of licensed and experienced forensic experts provides investigative services in the fields of engineering investigations, fire and explosion origin & cause, roofing investigations, and component testing. The diversity of their multidisciplinary staff allows them to provide not only a complete service, but a complete service whose conclusions can be successfully and completely supported.

    Donan Engineering has become a richly diverse, industry leader with over 250 employees operating from 50 offices in 27 states including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Texas, West Virginia, Virginia, and Oklahoma. Throughout their growth, Donan has maintained their commitment to providing exceptional customer service, unparalleled quality, unmatched integrity, and timely reporting. Most importantly, they pride ourselves on delivering their clients quality services at an affordable price.

    Services Include:
    Engineering Investigations
  • Bridges
  • Foundations and Basements
  • Geotechnical / Sink Holes
  • Lightning
  • Low and High Voltage
  • Mechanical Systems
  • Retaining Walls
  • Steel Construction
  • Trusses
  • Vehicle Mechanical Studies
  • Vibrations: Earthquakes and Blastings
  • Water Infiltration / Mold
  • Wood Frame Construction

  • Fire / Explosion Origin and Cause
  • Commercial Fires
  • Equipment Fires
  • Vehicle / Residential Fires

  • Roofing Investigations
  • Commercial
  • Residential - Asphalt Shingle
  • Residential - Slate, Tile, Etc.

  • Heavy Trucks
  • Motorcycles
  • Passenger Vehicles
  • 12/2/2016 · Engineering
    The term plumbing is derived from the Latin word "plumbum," the name of the metal lead that was the preferred material used by the Romans to construct their empire's water supply systems. This bit of history is even relevant today as the continued use of this potentially toxic metal has made headlines because of recently exposed problems in the Flint, Mich., water supply.

    7/29/2016 · Forensics
    Most forensic investigation projects include a scope to determine the cause of some damage or condition. Project scopes often request determining the cause and origin of the damage. Since insurance policies contain descriptions of covered and non-covered situations, clearly specifying causes and origins is crucial for clients' coverage decisions. This article discusses the differences between and significance of these two important terms.

    4/18/2016 · Construction
    Brick masonry chimneys have been prevalent for centuries, but it wasnt until recent decades that brick-clad, wood-framed chimneys became common in residential construction. This trend resulted from the increasing popularity of metal insert fireplaces. While they may appear similar from the exterior, the structure and weather-resistant envelope of wood-framed chimneys are very different than masonry-built chimneys. Prior to studying damage, it is important to understand critical elements in the structural support and weather-resistant envelope of wood-framed chimneys and the types of damage that can result from improper construction.[1]

    Fires can be caused by devices that fail due to a manufacturer's defect. Quality assurance procedures have gone a long way to eliminate out-of-box failures but manufacturers sometimes bypass quality checks on consumer products for competitive reasons. Even the most ethical companies are susceptible to human error that can cause an almost imperceptible change in an otherwise flawless manufacturing procedure.

    As the days get shorter and temperatures turn milder, most HVAC systems are taking a well-earned vacation. For a short while, a cool breeze through open windows will be enough to keep us comfortable in our homes. But soon, homeowners will switch their thermostats from cooling mode to heating mode, and some of them will unfortunately discover their HVAC system does not heat. It's time to pull out those extra blankets and make the call to a service professional sooner than expected.

    12/21/2015 · Construction
    Wood bowstring trusses were used extensively in commercial buildings from the 1920s to the 1960s. Wood bowstring roof trusses provided long clear spans necessary in warehouse and industrial buildings. Many roofs supported by bowstring trusses are still in service today. Compared with other structural timber-truss types, bowstring trusses have exhibited more frequent structural problems. The structural deficiencies encountered are attributable to deficiencies in the original design of the trusses combined with damage due to exposure and age.

    9/28/2015 · Engineering
    The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has released a 2015 edition of NFPA 70E: Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace. It covers and assists in complying with the Occupational Safety and Health Association's requirements, including changes to requirements since the last edition. For personal safety in forensic studies it is important to stay informed of these updates. NFPA 70E covers arc flash risk assessment, establishment of arc flash boundaries, requirements of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), use of PPE within the arc flash boundary, and equipment labeling requirements regarding arc flash hazards. The following examples illustrate the importance of staying abreast of the latest standards.

    7/16/2015 · Construction
    History shows us that building codes have been around for a long time - in fact, the earliest known was around in 2000BC[1]. Penalties were also much harsher for construction defects. If a builder constructed a house that collapsed and killed the owner, the builder was not fined, but was put to death. The United States has been a country with diverse codes - as many as 5,000 at one time. More recently, however, various states and municipalities have adopted "model" codes such as the International Building Code or International Residential Code. These provide a "base" and may be used as written or an Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) may amend certain parts of the model code, making it more stringent and/or specific for a certain area.

    5/14/2015 · Forensics
    Whether it is helping us formulate our opinion or confirming an initial diagnosis, technology plays a valuable role in forensic engineering work. Following are a few examples of existing technology available to Donan's project managers. Though not standard issue, these tools are utilized when necessary to accurately determine or confirm a cause of loss.

    There are many types, manufacturers, and sizes of commercial HVAC systems which can make it difficult to create general guidelines for repair procedures and estimates for hail-damaged units. This guide uses the most common "light commercial" rooftop units (RTUs), which are 5-tons, 7.5-tons, and 10-tons in capacity, for estimating time to repair or replace.

    Imagine for a moment that you are sitting in your home, listening to the rain while reading your favorite novel. Then suddenly you hear a roar of thunder and your home becomes dark. What just happened? You may have just experienced a power surge. Although lightning is not the most common cause of this phenomenon, it is excellent for illustrating what a power surge is and how it can affect your home. A power surge is a term used to describe a condition where the voltage and or current increases beyond its normal levels. Power surges, when due to the elevation of the voltage being supplied by the electrical utility company, have the potential to change data streams, interrupt electrical control circuits, burn out components, cause arcs, create shorts between conductors, overload systems, and cause system failures. The most common causes of power surges are indicated as follows:

    1/7/2015 · Construction
    Concrete is a desirable construction material due to its inherent strength and durability, which make it well-suited for many applications in residential and commercial construction, especially foundations, floor slabs, driveways, sidewalks, and roads, among other things. In these applications, concrete that is properly designed, mixed, placed, and maintained will perform exceptionally well for many years. However, poor design or mix, improper placement, finishing techniques, or inadequate maintenance may result in concrete that does not perform as intended. Aside from cracking, which is probably the most common form of distress to concrete, since virtually all concrete will crack as it cures, surface distress due to scaling, spalling, and popouts are the most common forms of damage.

    12/2/2014 · Construction
    The relationship between wind, hailstone velocity, and impact energy is based on an understanding of fundamental physics. Over a half century of laboratory research and field studies have determined that the severity of hail damage to a roofing material is contingent on the kinetic energy at the point of impact and the roofing material's resistance to that impact energy. These studies have found that a hailstone must be of a certain mass (i.e., size), and it must be traveling at a certain speed (velocity) to result in functional damage to the roofing material. The kinetic energy is a composition of mass and velocity, defined by the following equation:

    10/17/2014 · Construction
    Chances are, it's happened to you. An unexpected period of cold weather occurs and temperatures drop well below freezing for an extended period of time. One morning you attempt to turn the water on in the kitchen sink and...nothing. Hot water? Nope. Cold water? Nope. What happened? Did you forget to pay the water bill...again? Chances are, your pipes are frozen. "How can that happen? They are inside the house!", you may say; however, just because your water lines are inside the building envelope, does not mean they are adequately protected from freezing.

    9/4/2014 · Construction
    If hail impacts a roof covering and the effects of this impact result in some loss in the material's overall integrity or functionality, this material is classified as "hail damaged." More specifically for cedar shakes and shingles, valid hail damage is typically a new fracture of the cedar corresponding to a clean spot or scuff mark from the hailstone impact.

    7/25/2014 · Construction
    Although sags along roof ridgelines can be discovered at any time, in northern climates they are often attributed to the effects of a past snow load. To make an educated analysis of the actual cause of this phenomenon, one must have a basic understanding of the structure and the loads to which it has been subjected.

    Heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems consist of many components that work in unison to create the desired comfort level for our homes and offices. A well maintained system is designed to last around 15 years, but the life can be dramatically reduced when proper installation procedures and routine maintenance are not performed.

    5/28/2014 · Construction
    Ice dams and their resultant leaks are often a chronic and expensive problem in those regions where snow-covered roofs are a common occurrence. To understand their detection, cause, and prevention requires some understanding of the dynamics of a structure's construction, insulation, and ventilation.

    A space heater is a device designed to warm a small area. These devices are typically portable, but the category does include gas- and wood-fueled models that are permanently installed; however, these are not the focus of this article.

    3/12/2014 · Failure Analysis
    Washing machine failures can create significant damage, exposing insurers and their clients to property damage. These failures often involve a high volume of water and can occur without warning. Through the examination of several hundred washing machines, the DONAN Component Testing Laboratory has identified a statistically significant failure trend in General Electric (GE) washing machines. The amount of water supplied to the tub of the washing machine is controlled by a water valve (solenoid-controlled valve) and pneumatic controls. The washing machine's load selector is a pneumatic pressure switch, which activates and deactivates the water valve.

    2/10/2014 · Construction
    Shallow foundations are the most commonly designed and constructed structural foundation system. As opposed to deep foundations where structural loads are transferred to subsurface layers or multiple depth ranges, shallow foundations transfer loads to the earth (soil) relatively near to the ground surface. Some examples of shallow foundations include building components often seen in residential construction such as spread footings, continuous foundation walls and footings, slab-on-grade foundations, and mat-slab foundations.

    1/9/2014 · Construction
    After a tornado event, devastation and destruction are found along the tornado path. Due to the wood-framed construction predominant in Texas and Oklahoma, extensive damage to a house can occur. But how do you know whether visible cracks in the Sheetrock or brick finishes are just cosmetic damage or the signs of structural failure?

    12/10/2013 · Fires & Explosions
    Automatic fire suppression systems are by far the most effective and safest means of preventing extensive fire damage and saving lives. For this discussion, we will touch on automatic sprinkler systems (building systems) and kitchen hood suppression systems. These systems range from very simple to extremely complex.

    10/23/2013 · Construction
    Summertime rolls around and people start seeing condensation on ductwork. Their first thought is that something is wrong with their air conditioner. Actually, sweating ducts have several causes. Very few are attributable to defective air conditioners.

    10/4/2013 · Engineering
    In urban and suburban areas, stormwater systems are found everywhere. From surface waterways, such as rivers, streams, and ditches, to subsurface drainage systems, such as storm sewers and culverts, stormwater systems are as ubiquitous as concrete, which is one of the reasons they are so important (Figure 1). Impervious surfaces like concrete, pavement, and roofs prevent stormwater from naturally absorbing into the ground, and the resulting runoff can cause flooding, erosion, and subsequent structural damage.

    For many years, the fire investigation industry has seen numerous fires involving livestock buildings. These fires are often high profile, especially when masses of animals are lost or injured. Many times these losses are in older structures with neglected electrical and/or heating systems. Given the interior environment, corrosion and degradation to electrical and heating components are common.

    8/16/2013 · Construction
    Cupping, buckling, and crowning are three common problems encountered in wood flooring (flooring). These problems are caused by a combination of the normal material characteristics of the flooring and improper installation of the flooring.

    7/31/2013 · Waterproofing
    While shovels, snowblowers, plows, and deicing agents are used to clear snow and ice from driveways and sidewalks during the winter, removing frozen precipitation from the roof of a house is a bit more challenging. As snow and ice piles up on the roof and subsequently thaws out, the melt-water can sometimes result in damage to the interior of the structure.

    7/15/2013 · Construction
    "Hail has damaged my concrete driveway!" How many times have you heard this claim? A homeowner whose house has experienced a recent severe hailstorm starts to notice things they never noticed before around their house.

    A Donan fire investigator uses many techniques in order to determine the origin and cause of a fire. Chief among these are the investigator's observations of the scene and the conditions surrounding the scene.

    In this age of high energy costs, the price of heating the house will increase. People will be searching for alternate sources to heat their houses.

    4/24/2013 · Construction
    In our October 2010 newsletter, Bob Whelan, P.E., discussed how to approach a roof hail study by using the scientific method. In summary, one should perform a collateral study of the property, or neighboring properties, to gather information about the particular hailstorm in question.

    3/21/2013 · Construction
    Whether to build a residence on a concrete slab or conventional crawlspace foundation is a common decision homeowners must make.

    2/13/2013 · Construction
    By: DONAN
    Is construction vibration just an annoyance, or does it have the potential to cause aesthetic and structural damage to nearby structures?

    1/7/2013 · Construction
    Attic ventilation problems can cause elevated relative humidity in an unheated, residential attic. Elevated relative humidity in the attic can promote mold growth and increase the moisture content in the wood framing to a level that promotes fungal growth and rotting.

    11/30/2012 · Failure Analysis
    Every year, Donan Engineering is asked to look at dozens of basement walls that have failed. A wall is determined to have "failed" when the structural integrity is compromised - such as with the development of a horizontal or vertical crack.

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    Edward S. George, PE
    President, Principal Investigator
    124 Calle De Leon
    St Augustine FL 32086
    USA
    phone: 904-826-1431
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    Edward George Product Liability Failure Analysis Expert PhotoEdward S. George PE, has over 30 years of experience in the field of Product Liability and Failure Analysis.

    Mr. George earned his BS and MS degrees from the University of Florida Department of Materials Science and Engineering, graduating with a specialty in metallurgy. He is a licensed professional engineer in the State of Florida. Mr. George is a member of The National Society of Professional Engineers, The American Welding Society, The National Association of Forensic Engineers, The Florida Engineering Society, American Water Works Association, and The International Society for Fall Protection.

    Mr. George has experience in a variety of material failures including Metals, Polymers, Plastics, Composites, Ceramics, Glass, and Porcelain.

    Litigation Support - A court-qualified expert, Mr. George has over 13 years of experience and has testified in depositions and trials. His forensic training is complemented by his industrial experience including:
    • Heat Treating of Metals
    • Welding and Joining of Materials
    • Materials Testing and Evaluation
    • Quality Control and Assurance
    • Optical and Scanning Electron Microscopic Techniques
    • Destructive and Non-destructive Physical Testing
    • Laboratory Equipment and Procedures
    View Edward George's Consulting Profile.
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    Dr. Paul Eason, PE, CFEI
    4600 Touchton Road,Building 100, Suite 150
    Jacksonville FL 32246
    USA
    phone: 904-279-9300 or 888-504-5454
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    Paul Eason is a Licensed Engineer, Nationally Certified Fire & Explosion Investigator and Forensic Consultant. His expertise comes from a strong background in industry and academia. In addition to his consulting practice, he is a professor in the Mechanical Engineering program at the University of North Florida, and maintains a graduate faculty appointment in the Materials Science and Engineering Program at the University of Florida.

    Dr. Eason has testified in numerous trials and depositions in the following practice areas: Product Design & Manufacturing Analysis, Metallurgy & Materials, Fire & Explosions and Industrial Accidents

    Areas of Expertise:

    Product liability and failure analysis, Product Defect & Safety Issues including: Metals, Plastics, Glass, Ceramics, Corrosion, Fatigue, Overload & Material Selection

    Fire and Explosion analysis including: cause and origin determination, product related fire causation, industrial process accidents, dust explosions, welding/brazing accidents
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    Heather Suttle
    Marketing Manager
    8811 FM 1960 Bypass Road West
    Suite 400
    Humble TX 77338
    USA
    phone: 281-358-4441
    fax: 281-358-2517
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    Metts HardyE. Metts Hardy, IAAI-CFI, CFEI, CHMT has more than 36 years of experience conducting fire service and insurance-related investigations, specializing in Fires and Explosions in Residential and Commercial Properties, Vehicles etc.

    He is the Practice Leader of the Fire Investigation Division within EFI Global. He assisted in the development of the company's standardized Fire FACS reporting system and makes regular updates to enhance performance and quality.

    Mr. Hardy has conducted in excess of 3,000 fire origin and cause investigations. He has attended and instructed numerous seminars and continuing education programs related to fire investigation and NFPA 921 for the public and private sector.

    Mr. Hardy provides expert witness testimony in state and federal courts in origin and causes of fires and explosions in Mississippi, Louisiana, Kentucky and Tennessee. He services are available to insurance companies and attorneys for both Plaintiff and Defense.

    Areas of Expertise
    • Incendiarism
    • Liability
    • Origin and Cause
    • Subrogation
    • Failure Analysis
    Selected Project Experience:
    • Fire Investigation (TN) - Origin and cause investigation, four story nursing home, multiple fatalities. Investigation included fire dynamics and fire spread, and failure analysis to determine the fire cause
    • Personal Injury Defense (TN) - origin and cause investigation into a gas leak and ensuing fire that critically burned a construction worker. Investigation determined that incident was result of negligence of individual filing suit
    Licenses and Certifications:
    • National Board on Fire Service Professional Qualifications, #304063
    • Certified Fire Investigator, IAAI, # 04-112034, 2011
    • Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator, NAFI, #3808-544, 1992
    • Certified Fire Causation Instructor, Tennessee State Fire School, 1991
    • Certified Hazardous Materials Technician, Georgia Institute of Technology, #1000, 1992
    • Licensed Private Investigator, Tennessee, #0000086, South Carolina,#PCD1513; Georgia, #04198
    View Mr. Hardy's Consulting Profile.
    What does the insurer do once the fire is out? Normally, the property loss notice is submitted by the insured as soon as possible to begin the adjustment process, collect for damages, and get life back in order. The insurer takes this information and relates it to the adjuster, who then investigates and settles the claim. In fire losses, many times the adjuster will seek the services of a fire investigator or other expert to assist in determining the cause of loss so he or she can make an informed decision as to how to proceed with adjusting the claim. But the expert assigned to a certain loss can make all the difference in the world in how a claim is settled and whether there is an avenue for recovery of insurance funds or protection in potential liability claims.

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    Heather Suttle
    Marketing Manager
    8811 FM 1960 Bypass Road West
    Suite 400
    Humble TX 77338
    USA
    phone: 281-358-4441
    fax: 281-358-2517
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    EFI Global is a full-service Engineering, Fire Investigation, Environmental, Health and Safety, and specialty consulting firm. Over the last four decades, they have grown from a boutique firm to become a recognized leader in engineering failure analysis, origin and cause investigations, and environmental consulting. This expertise coupled with the extensive coverage of our 27 national offices, more than 400 professionals, and global work abroad capability allows EFI Global to deliver timely responses that consistently meets their clients’ expectations.

    EFI Global's continuing record of success has earned them several rankings in national publications including Engineering-News Record, Business Insurance, and Zweig White. EFI Global employs professional engineers licensed in nearly all 50 states, as well as licensed fire investigators and environmental professionals. Their team of licensed professionals and numerous strategic partnerships can respond to most projects within 48 hours, regardless of location.

    When faced with litigation, EFI Global's clients rely on valid, factual conclusions that translate scientific and technical facts into understandable concepts that can be supported with expert witness testimony. From thousands of fire cause and origin investigation for cases in federal, district and state courts, EFI has expanded its testimony expertise to assist the legal community with disputes arising from forensic engineering, accident reconstruction, environmental consulting, asbestos-related cases, mold and indoor air quality (IAQ) litigation support, and catastrophe claims.

    Expert Witness Services:
    • Insurance Litigation
    • Environmental Litigation
    • Product Liability
    • Transportation & Accident Reconstruction
    • Construction Defects
    • Failure Analysis
    • Professional Liability
    • Contract Law
    • Catastrophic & Disaster Litigation
    • Real Estate
    View EFI Global's Consulting Profile.
    5/31/2016 · Damages
    Both large-scale catastrophe-induced losses and small-scale single event losses have the potential to impact employees, individuals, insurance personnel, general contracting restoration firms and associated property loss. In addition to the actual water-loss event, secondary losses can become equally as devastating depending on pre-existing and/or event-related building conditions, and the role the insured's take as part of required catastrophe restoration activities. During the water loss event, all project related information and environmental data generated is an integral part of the decision making process that may be disclosed at various stages to inform all the various "parties" involved with the project. All in all, a well-executed restoration project can minimize common delays and expenses of an ill-conceived and managed project.

    Sectors of the construction industry are reporting resurgence and growth in 2013. Single and multi-family housing, commercial, institutional and public works construction is predicted to increase up to 28% in some areas. This is good news for the industry and the economy but the increase in construction activity has historically led to an increase in construction accidents.

    In the course of an arson investigation one of the standard procedures is, when possible, to collect the clothing of arson suspects and have them tested for ignitable liquids. The hypothesis being that if the clothing tests positive for the same ignitable liquids that are found in the fire debris, it is good circumstantial evidence to place the suspect at the scene with an ignitable liquid.

    A growing concern in the insurance sector is soot and smoke damage claims due to wildfires. Some of these fires can affect properties hund reds of miles downwind, causing the potential number of claims to be astronomical. Besides the known risks for respiratory and other health problems, smoke, soot, and char can cause physical damage ranging from settled ash to property damage.

    3/24/2015 · OSHA
    Every year, approximately 3,600 workers are permanently disabled, and on average, one worker per day is killed, as a result of electrical incidents in the workplace.* To prevent these types of electrical injuries and deaths, building owners and managers should apply the safeguards included in NFPA 70E, the standard utilized by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) for building electrical assessments. OSHA utilizes the National Fire Protection Association's (NFPA) 70E Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace to provide improved safety procedures for workers through proper warning labels, restricted access notification, personnel training and personal protective equipment (PPE). OSHA compliance will minimize workplace injuries, accidents, illnesses, equipment damage, production losses, and legal costs, which are all avoidable and unnecessary factors in any business.

    10/29/2014 · Fires & Explosions
    The world of fire investigations is always changing and EFI Global is active in its research and testing methods. In an effort to support insura nce, subrogation, loss prevention and litigation relating to losses, EFI Global's chemical laboratories regularly perform chemical analysis on new products to identify potential accelerants and igni tion sources.. Recently, EFI Global laboratories conducted proactive chemical testing on a new matchless fire starter. This commercially available product is marketed and used to start wood and campfires.. The results of EFI Global's testing revealed the limitations and significance if this product is used as an accelerant.

    9/17/2014 · Environment
    Financial institutions require the completion of environmental due diligence of a commercial real estate collateralized lending transaction for many reasons. They may wish to understand the environmental condition of the proposed collateral and ensure a Borrower's compliance with applicable regulations prior to making a loan; to reevaluate the collateral during a renewal or refinance transaction; to determine the collateral's condition at the time of a loan default; or to obtain information about an unexpected environmental condition encountered within the loan term.

    Fire origin and cause investigation, and mold and asbestos testing of a six-story office building

    EFI Global (EFI) was hired by a legal team representing a tire product manufacturer to replicate the use of a tire inflation product in an off-road tire. Litigation was prompted when the tire inflation product was used in an off-road tire that exploded and resulted in a fatality. Our team was asked to evaluate the product when used when used in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions as written on the products label; when used in concert with pure oxygen, and when used in concert with compressed air.

    2/27/2014 · Damages
    Historically, fires and automobile accidents have been the primary types of property and casualty claims that presented a potential avenues of for subrogation. However, with the increased costs of mitigating the extent of water damage and reducing the potential for mold growth, claims involving large water losses have become another important area with subrogation potential.

    Mechanical ventilation systems have evolved from passive gravity vents (circa 1900) by adding modifications to improve comfort, occupant health, and energy efficiency. Early on, the maintenance of the system basically related to making sure the furnace was on and the windows would open. If you were lucky the school might have draft deflectors on the windows so the wind would not blow directly on your head.

    11/13/2013 · Damages
    Following a hurricane, damages to a residential structure can range from structural distress, to small areas of mold growth to a total loss of the structure. Storm damage can affect multiple components of a structure including the roof, windows, siding, foundation and interior finishes. Wind or water is often the most common cause of damage to residential properties; however, there are many factors to consider when assessing the various causes of damage. Some of the factors include material use, age, condition and construction methods as well as type, location and extent of the damage. It is essential that a professional with hurricane damage assessment experience evaluate these factors to accurately define the cause.

    One sunny spring morning, on a rural road just outside of Houston, Texas, Molly Jackson, a vibrant 16-year-old girl with a bright future and a new driver's license, was behind the wheel of her father's brand new Chevrolet C2500 crew cab pickup truck. At the same time, just seven seconds before she would draw her last breath, Rhonda Simmons, a 46-year old divorced mother of two teenagers, was approaching from the opposite direction in her sleek and sporty Pontiac Trans Am.

    Editor's note: A trend to require more fire safety equipment in residences and nursing homes will reduce deaths and injuries, both among firefighters and the general public, says E. Metts Hardy, vice president/Fire Investigations for EFI Global (www.efiglobal.com), a Kingwood, Texas-based provider of engineering, fire investigation, environmental, accident reconstruction, and laboratory testing services.

    8/21/2013 · Insurance
    Nationwide, water-loss claims continue to climb. In California alone, such claims have risen dramatically, with the percentage of homeowner claims growing from 24 percent in 1997 to 32 percent in 2001, costing insurers $1.7 billion. In a single year in California, between 2000 and 2001, claims rose $47 million. For some insurers, this meant that 40 percent of claim payments were for water losses.

    8/7/2013 · Insurance
    Water damage is costly to both homeowners and insurance companies. It is estimated that the cost of household water damage in California, alone, exceeded $500 million for 2002. While the number of water-related claims varies year to year, the average amount paid for such claims increased steadily from $2,577 in 1988 to $3,646 in 2002.

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    Stan Andrews
    13045 W. Hwy. 62
    Farmington AR 72730
    USA
    phone: 479-846-8000
    fax: 479-846-8002
    engineering_institute_logo.jpg
    EI Consultants, LLC offers a variety of engineering research, consulting, and public services related to the automotive industry, tire failure and design, fire investigations and materials failure. The engineers have expertise in accident reconstruction, automotive mechanical failures; and deposition and trial testimony.

    Located in Northwest Arkansas, EI Consultants, LLC offers nationwide services in accident reconstruction investigation. The Institute's testing department is fully equipped to accomodate your indoor inspection needs whether it be a seatbelt buckle mechanism, an entire vehicle, or an ATV. They also offer accurate and detailed digitization and animation services, as well as high quality evidence photography and high-speed video.

    EI Consultants, LLC's support staff of business professionals is a phone call away to help you with technical research, document reproduction, and paralegal needs. They also have techs available for courtroom presentations using Trial Director Software - an easy, paperless way to handle and display exhibits.

    stan andrews

    Stan Andrews leads the Accident Reconstruction team also known as F.I.R.S.T. of NWA. Mr. Andrews' area of expertise includes accident investigation and reconstruction, and agricultural systems. He has given presentations on the topics of safety engineering, human factors, accident reconstruction, heavy truck crashworthiness, restraint systems, and distracted driving related to texting and cell phone use. Mr. Andrews has provided expert testimony in over 100 depositions and he has testified in trial as an expert witness about the forensic findings of an accident.



    Cord Guthrie

    Cord Guthrie, Forensic Engineer has been conducting comprehensive investigations into Fire Origin and Cause for The Engineering Institute for the past ten years. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in pre-med psychology with an emphasis in criminology and a Master’s degree in Forensic Science from George Washington University. Mr. Guthrie is licensed private investigator and a member of the (NAFI) National Association of Fire Investigators, the (NFPA) National Fire Protection Association; a (CFEI) Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator and a (CVFI) Certified Vehicle Fire Investigator and an Arkansas licensed private investigator. Mr. Guthrie is also professionally trained in accident reconstruction, he has conducted hundreds of investigations regarding automobile accidents (fire and non-fire related).

    View EI Consultants, LLC Consulting Profile.
    The role of an accident reconstructionist is to provide a forensic conclusion to the cause and events of an accident. Some accidents may involve passenger vehicles or consumer products, such as an ATV.

    Many highway traffic accidents occur as a result of sudden tire failures. One particular kind of tire failure is called tread separation, and it can be especially dangerous in some circumstances. This kind of failure involves the outer steel belt layer of the tire peeling away violently, often without causing the tire to go flat.

    Why is there statistically such a high number of rollover accidents and injuries involving UTV's and ATV's, such as the Yamaha Rhino and the Polaris Razor?

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    Robert Malanga, P.E.
    President
    9 Flintlock Drive, Suite 100
    Long Valley, NJ 07853
    NJ, NY, PA, MA, CT, DE, RI, ME, NH, VT
    USA
    phone: 908-876-3255
    fax: 908-876-4299
    robert-malanga-logo.jpg
    Fire & Risk Engineering provides Fire Protection and Risk Management solutions for projects involving industrial, commercial, institutional, mercantile, transportation, educational, residential, and complex public facilities. They apply scientific laws to fire analyses in order to form a solid foundation for indisputable arguments. In addition, Fire & Risk Engineering provides the experience to identify, interpret and explain the relevant codes, standards, regulations and industry practice that affect the determination of responsibility.

    Robert Malanga, P.E., holds degrees in Fire Protection Engineering as well as in Technology Management and the Electrical/Electronic field. For over 28 years, Mr. Malanga has dedicated his career and avocations to Fire Protection, Life Safety and Risk Management. As a result, he is experienced in analyzing the development and spread of Fires and Explosions as well as evaluating the design and performance of fire protection systems. He has provided expert testimony on the subjects of fire and explosion phenomena; cause and origin; fire behavior, spread and development; design, adequacy and performance of public/private fire protection systems; fire prevention; fire protection and building codes; fire resistant construction and fire safe building design.

    Services Include:
  • Fire Protection Engineering
  • Fire Protection Systems Evaluation
  • Forensic Engineering
  • Risk Management Consulting
  • Master Planning Program Development
  • Life Safety and Building Code Consulting
  • Risk Assessment and Fire Defense Evaluations
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    Jim Hunter, IAAI-CFI, CFEI, CVFI
    7490 Bridgewater Road
    Dayton OH 45424
    USA
    phone: 937-237-4000
    fax: 937-237-4022
    Fire-Explosion-Consultants-Logo.gif
    Fire and Explosion Consultants, LLC is a privately owned and operated Forensic Fire Investigation Company providing fire and explosion consulting services including origin and cause investigations, forensic and electrical engineering services, evidence storage services, litigation support and consultations. FEC is licensed in eight states throughout the Midwest. FEC offers twelve Certified Fire Investigators, two Certified Evidence Collection Technicians, one Professional Engineer, and three full-time office staff. FEC’s office provides a climate-controlled warehouse and laboratory for evidence storage and analysis. Our experts and office staff are available 24 hours a day to assist you. The Truth is Within the Ashes!

    Jim Hunter, IAAI-CFI, CFEI, CVFI has attended more than 100 fire investigation courses, including those from federal agencies, across the United States. He has studied Firefighting, Fraud Fire Investigations, Origin and Cause Investigations, Evidence Collection and Preservation, Post Blast Investigations, Vehicle Fire Investigations, and courtroom testimony. He has testified as an expert witness on origin and cause investigations in Common Pleas Court, Municipal Court, Grand Jury, Preliminary Hearings, Juvenile Court, and Depositions in Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia. These proceedings involve both criminal and civil trials.

    Scott Bennett, IAAI-CFI, CFEI, CFII, CVFI has traveled around the United States to attend fire investigation courses in these areas: field of Origin and Cause Investigation, Evidence Collection and Preservation, Explosive Devices, Post Blast Investigations, and courtroom testimony. Scott retired from the Dayton Fire Department where he was assigned to the Regional Fire Investigation Unit as a Senior Fire Investigator. In the courtroom, Scott has testified as an expert in Federal Court, Common Pleas Court, and Municipal Court in multiple states. His testimonial experience includes depositions, grand jury appearances, preliminary hearings, and juvenile court proceedings, during both criminal and civil trials.

    View Fire and Explosion Consultants, LLC's Consulting Profile.
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    Capt. Walter P. Godfrey, Jr.
    Senior Fire & Explosion Expert
    P.O. Drawer 307
    Cape Canaveral FL 32920
    USA
    phone: 321-868-7890
    fax: 321-868-0132
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    Captain Walter P. Godfrey, Jr. Is the founder and president of Fire Reconstruction Consultants, Inc. He has over 30 years of Fire & Explosion experience in Marine and over 40 years of Investigative experience with Structures, Vessels, Vehicles, and much more. Capt. Godfrey has investigated and testified in numerous fire cases involving multi-million dollar losses. In addition, he has been the lead investigator on more than 1,500 vessel fire investigations and lead investigator in over 2000 vehicle / structure cases.

    He is a Nationally Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator, a Nationally Certified Fire Investigation Instructor, a Board Certified Criminal Defense Investigator, a National Board Certified Anti-Terrorism Specialist and a U.S. Coastguard 100-ton master licensed Captain.

    Capt. Godfrey shares his knowledge and expertise by teaching seminars on structure fires and surface and sub surface vessel fires for insurance underwriters, claims personnel, attorneys, and investigative arms of various government agencies as well as civic and professional groups.

    Services include:
  • Commercial & Residential Structures and Vehicles - Origin & Cause Investigations
  • Failure Analysis and Forensic Specialization: Electrical, Metallurgical, Fire Protection, Mechanical, Structural, Chemical Testing
  • Marine & Security: Underwater Investigative Services, Underwater Training, Planning, Implementation & Management for Security
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