A Burn Simulation Comes to the 2021 Claims Conference

After more than a year of virtual-only events, NAMIC members are coming back together in person at the 2021 Claims Conference. Amid the excitement of being back in person is excitement surrounding the new live burn demonstration experiential learning workshop being offered the first day of the conference. We spoke with Michele Rodriguez, vice president of business development with Rimkus Consulting Group, to get some insights on what to expect from the demo.

Q:  How did the partnership between Rimkus and NAMIC and this live demonstration come about?  

A: This will be Rimkus’ fourth time attending the NAMIC Claims Conference as an exhibitor/sponsor – having attended three in prior years. This will be one of our first live events in many months. The planning and the behind-the-scenes parts and pieces have been phenomenal.

When we first talked about conducting a live burn for the conference, I thought, “How are we going to make this happen?” The event is at a hotel, and most hotels wouldn’t want you burning things in their parking lot. So, Tom Young, one of the main presenters for the event and the vice president of Rimkus’ fire practice, and I started talking logistics.

Tom mentioned a fire training facility in Orlando, so we reached out to them. We described what we wanted to do, and because of the educational piece of the demonstration, they were excited to be part of it. They agreed to let us use the facility free of charge.

Q: What can those who have signed up to attend this experiential activity expect to see?

A: One of our restoration company partners, Dreyer’s DKI, has a self-contained tractor trailer that it has turned into a burn unit, which we will have on site at the fire training facility. The trailer has side-by-side cells that can be set up in any scenario you’d like. For this event, we’re setting up work-from-home office environments, with one side having a sprinkler system and the other one not. We’ll set them on fire to watch what happens. Once everything has been extinguished and cools down a little bit, our fire investigators and electrical engineers will walk the attendees through what they are seeing.

Because these fires don’t take long, we have some other small demonstrations leading up to the grand finale. Those include a lithium battery failure, a small household appliance fire, and burn pattern demonstrations. These demonstrations provide some additional hands-on education with our fire and electrical teams and allow the attendees time to interact and ask questions.

Q:  What do you hope attendees will come away with after their participation?

A: Safety awareness because we sometimes take safety for granted. Our fire investigators have often discussed performing certain tasks before you leave the house, such as unplugging items and making sure outlets aren’t overextended. We all have how heard these things are important, but many of us don’t do them. Hopefully, this can put fire safety on the forefront of people’s minds. Additionally, changing technology has brought new capabilities for remotely turning on/off devices in your home. These wonderful capabilities bring new challenges to be aware of from a claims perspective, which we will also discuss at the live demonstration.

And while every fire is not questionable, participating in live burn activities like this can help claims adjusters and special investigative unit folks learn more about what to look for or what to pay more attention to on their daily claims files.


Article Posted: 05.25.21
Last Updated: 05.26.21


Lindsay Robison
Content Manager and Editor