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  #21  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2015, 10:28 PM
lio45 lio45 is offline
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Originally Posted by Xelebes View Post
I've noticed that the houses are closer together meaning that it is more likely to catch other buildings on fire. We also need to look at materials. I know the Alberta fire code is still lacking with regards to that. There is a large number of buildings in Alberta which are made with very dangerous materials and I believe some revisions have occured but maybe not enough?

Hopefully some engineers can step in.
If you want my take on it... (I don't have the ability to sign as an engineer though)

I'm not very familiar with building styles in other areas but one thing that can make a big difference is basement vs no basement. Fire starting in the basement and spreading to the structure via the walls can cause a total loss. Seen that often in Sherbrooke.

I recall your insurance problems, SHH (the discussion when you were shopping for that place). FWIW, I wouldn't want to be in your shoes, I really dislike insurance companies...

My buildings in Sherbrooke pretty much have to be insured (most have a mortgage on them). Typically they're four stories Victorian era with basements. Wooden structures, old dry wood. If something goes wrong (worst case being an electrical fire starting in the basement when there's no one around) they'll light up like a torch.

The portfolio in FL, that's quite different, they all are concrete structures, all of them are only 1 story, no basements, tile or terrazzo floors. My biggest building there is a triplex... still only 1 story, still concrete, still no basement. I have only cheap general liability insurance to cover the business activities and that's it -- it's really quite significant savings when you sum up what it costs in insurance for the Sherbrooke portfolio. It's not something you can get back as part of the rent, at all. Insured or not... just eats into the ROI.

I'm willing to take the risk because even the case of a "total loss" isn't that bad... (see link below)

But it's very very rare that they'll completely burn like that one... the structure and walls and floor being of concrete, you have a lot more time to notice/catch a fire and extinguish it. I've seen the result of minor fires in that area of FL but this one is a very special case, to my knowledge.

I'm guessing that in the case of the link below no one was home and the neighbors weren't home either.

That was a factor that really appealed to me (the relative non-flammability of the buildings) for long-term hands off investing, compared to what I am used to back home. (It would also really turn me off ever investing in Spencer Street hen cages, but not as much as the presence of the Rooms nearby does )

Worst case of a "total loss" to fire, you still have the walls and slab ready to be re-used:

http://www.trulia.com/homes/Florida/...ledge-FL-32955


So, yep, building materials (basically: flammable or not?) make a big difference.

RWin, are 1950s-era houses in Calgary concrete structures or wood? Do they have basements? Those factors right there are pretty major. I'm guessing newer buildings are going to be wooden structures...
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  #22  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2015, 2:03 AM
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RWin RWin is offline
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Most houses in Calgary as far as I know have basements. 50's or otherwise. One thing I do notice though is that in the 50's house for example, the floor joists are solid wood (same with our 80's house actually). In a lot of new ones I've noticed that the joists are I beams made of wood chips and glue. I can imagin a glue fire being very hot. I'm sure there are many factors but it seems that fires in new neighbourhoods are a lot more devastating.
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  #23  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2015, 2:06 AM
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Oh, forgot to mention, 50's houses are typically wood frame, bungalow or split level. Concrete foundation. In ours, the floor joists were embedded in the concrete walls of the basement so maybe in that era of house, it would be a little harder for a basement fire to spread to the upstairs walls? In our 80's house the joists appear to be sitting on top of the basement walls.
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All right... all right... but apart from better sanitation and medicine and education and irrigation and public health and roads and a freshwater system and baths and public order... what have the Romans done for us? NOTHING!
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  #24  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2015, 2:09 AM
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The possibility of fire has always freaked me out. I've never had personal experience with it and hope to never have to. So fire safety is something I think about a lot and like the idea of this thread.
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All right... all right... but apart from better sanitation and medicine and education and irrigation and public health and roads and a freshwater system and baths and public order... what have the Romans done for us? NOTHING!
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  #25  
Old Posted Sep 11, 2015, 5:03 PM
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Xelebes Xelebes is offline
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A guilty verdict obtained in a large arson case. A condominium complex was lit on fire after the construction boss realised he would be facing severe liabilities for his shoddy construction work. He had paid his brother-in-law, an employee of his to set the building on fire.

CBC News

Quote:
The boss woke Jeremy Thibert in the middle of the night.

Three weeks of pressure and an offer of $6,000 had finally convinced the young man to go along with the plan.

The two men went outside and hopped in a truck, and together drove through the dark, quiet streets to the Windermere condominiums, a complex still under construction in south Edmonton.

The boss, a construction framer, knew where the cameras were placed, knew the gate was open. He told Thibert where to find several tubes of highly flammable glue inside the half-constructed building.
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  #26  
Old Posted Jul 16, 2017, 11:40 PM
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This thread was created in 2015 and we let it slide. The Fort McMurray fire had its own thread but this thread is being bumped so that we have a place to discuss the forest fires in British Columbia.
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