When water pipes are exposed to freezing temperatures for an extended period of time the water in the pipe freezes and expands. This exerts an internal pressure on the pipe which can cause it to burst or separate at a joint. When the ice melts, the water starts flowing through the opening.
Investigation of water damage claims from burst or separated pipes can include an analysis of how heat was maintained in the building, outside temperatures, equipment operation, heat loss calculation and utility records evaluation.
Carbon Monoxide (CO) is created due to incomplete combustion of a hydrocarbon fuel such as natural gas, propane, heating oil, gasoline etc. Typically exhaust gases that contain CO are vented to the outside. If exhaust gases that contain high levels of CO enter a building instead of being released to the atmosphere occupants can be exposed and injured.
Investigations into CO injuries include testing of appliances and equipment to determine the source of the CO and how it entered the building. Once it is determined where the CO originated and how it entered the building the cause can be further investigated.
Scalds occur when a person is exposed to high liquid temperatures like water, oil, etc. or steam. Scalds can occur in anything from a residential tub to an industrial work setting. Investigations focus on determining the temperature of the fluid and/or reason for the exposure.
Flash Fires/ Explosions
The ignition of accumulated gas can cause anything from a small flash fire to a large explosion depending on the amount of gas released and the space that it occurs. Burns from flash fires occur when gas is released, accumulates, and ignites causing a fire in the immediate area which consumes the gas and goes out or ignites nearby combustibles. A person in the area of this flash fire can be injured by the heat from the flame.
Explosions occur when gas is released into a confined space, reaches a combustible mixtures and ignites. This can result in significant property damage and injuries from burns and physical trauma.
Investigation into flash fires and explosions start with determining the source of the gas leak and ignition then a cause can be analyzed.