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    • MisalignedHalo1971
    • By MisalignedHalo1971 4th Mar 18, 10:11 AM
    • 7Posts
    • 1Thanks
    MisalignedHalo1971
    Serious fire and a council tenant. Advice needed
    • #1
    • 4th Mar 18, 10:11 AM
    Serious fire and a council tenant. Advice needed 4th Mar 18 at 10:11 AM
    Hi all,
    I am in need of some advice.
    We had a serious fire in our garage this week. The fire brigade attended and said it was caused by a faulty extractor fan.
    Being a council tenant I immediately called the council who sent out someone to see. He was just an employee who worked for the out of hours and advised an inspector would call the next day. The inspector did not call so I had to chase this up and insist as I was concerned that 24hrs had elapsed and no electrician had called and I wanted them to assure me that the rest of our house was safe. After an argument a buildings inspector called. He walked into the garage and just stated " pppfftt this isn't our responsibility" I asked if an electrician would call and he said " no because the electric has tripped in the garage". After numerous calls to get an electrician I had to call my local MP to get some help. Within half an hr an electrician called out. He was the first to enter my home and make safe my consumer unit which supplies the rest of my home. He told me he had to be careful what he told me but one thing he noticed was that the fuse on the consumer unit was a 16 and not 32 as it should have been. He also said that when I had a house rewire 18months ago the new consumer unit they installed did not have any stickers to say when it had been installed. I would like to add that when the rewiring was done they did not rewire the garage. I know the extractor fan and wiring was not installed by the council but by a previous tenant but they were aware that the electrics were there hence why they put a fuse into the new consumer unit. The following day whilst I was at work my son informed me that someone from the council came out and once again looked in the garage and consumer unit, I have had no contact with them and unsure who this person was and have heard nothing since. I have requested that they do a full investigation and once again have heard nothing.
    We have managed to salvage quite a bit but estimate the loss to be around 15,000. All the facials and roof are burnt and it's now exposed and open to the elements and I don't know if it's structurally safe.
    I'm looking for advice on where I stand? . Who's responsible? Should I just shrug it off and just try to clean it up?
    As I know nothing about electrics or the law I'm in real need of guidance and I'm in no position to pay for legal advice.
    Many thanks in advance for any advice.
Page 1
    • SnooksNJ
    • By SnooksNJ 4th Mar 18, 10:30 AM
    • 697 Posts
    • 1,203 Thanks
    SnooksNJ
    • #2
    • 4th Mar 18, 10:30 AM
    • #2
    • 4th Mar 18, 10:30 AM
    What did your insurance company say? Let them fight it out, that's what you pay them for.
    • theartfullodger
    • By theartfullodger 4th Mar 18, 10:36 AM
    • 9,522 Posts
    • 12,767 Thanks
    theartfullodger
    • #3
    • 4th Mar 18, 10:36 AM
    • #3
    • 4th Mar 18, 10:36 AM
    Is this garage part of some residential tenancy in which you live or is it a separate, council-garage-only, tenancy?

    Suggest you write (yes, WRITE! - keep copy) to the council a calm & polite letter about the matter.

    Who's name is the electric account in for the garage?

    There are 2 sorts of people:
    - those who usually want to blame someone else & get someone else to pay...
    - those who get on with life, sort things out themselves...
    - those who can't count...
    • HampshireH
    • By HampshireH 4th Mar 18, 10:59 AM
    • 634 Posts
    • 643 Thanks
    HampshireH
    • #4
    • 4th Mar 18, 10:59 AM
    • #4
    • 4th Mar 18, 10:59 AM
    The Council will be responsible for the building under the buildings insurance. Not a quick process

    You will be responsible for your belongings under your contents insurance.

    Not sure what you expect to happen. They have isolated the electrics & checked the rest of your property I safe. For now that's all they need to do.

    They will be guided by their insurance team as to how they proceed. This could take months.

    The Council surveyor would have made an assessment as to whether it is structurally sound or not.

    It sounds like you are still living in the house so this hasn't been affected?
    • John-K
    • By John-K 4th Mar 18, 11:08 AM
    • 654 Posts
    • 998 Thanks
    John-K
    • #5
    • 4th Mar 18, 11:08 AM
    • #5
    • 4th Mar 18, 11:08 AM
    What point are you making with the comment about the 16A fuse? That does not sound like a safety issue, more of a pain in the bum when it blows at 3.8kW.
    • marliepanda
    • By marliepanda 4th Mar 18, 11:39 AM
    • 5,616 Posts
    • 11,760 Thanks
    marliepanda
    • #6
    • 4th Mar 18, 11:39 AM
    • #6
    • 4th Mar 18, 11:39 AM
    You managed to salvage most of the stuff in the garage but still have lost 15k worth of stuff?! What on Earth did you have in your garage...
    • JuzaMum
    • By JuzaMum 4th Mar 18, 12:17 PM
    • 260 Posts
    • 212 Thanks
    JuzaMum
    • #7
    • 4th Mar 18, 12:17 PM
    • #7
    • 4th Mar 18, 12:17 PM
    You managed to salvage most of the stuff in the garage but still have lost 15k worth of stuff?! What on Earth did you have in your garage...
    Originally posted by marliepanda
    A cannabis farm

    (Only joking)
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 4th Mar 18, 12:19 PM
    • 4,363 Posts
    • 6,233 Thanks
    Cakeguts
    • #8
    • 4th Mar 18, 12:19 PM
    • #8
    • 4th Mar 18, 12:19 PM
    This is what insurance is for. Their buildings insurance and your contents insurance. The council are not going to pay you for what you say you lost in the garage that is up to you to claim on your contents insurance.
    • MisalignedHalo1971
    • By MisalignedHalo1971 4th Mar 18, 12:46 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    MisalignedHalo1971
    • #9
    • 4th Mar 18, 12:46 PM
    • #9
    • 4th Mar 18, 12:46 PM
    The garage is part of the property. My insurance company has a specialised team coming out tomorrow so I'll let them deal with it. Thank you
    • MisalignedHalo1971
    • By MisalignedHalo1971 4th Mar 18, 12:51 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    MisalignedHalo1971
    Also the electrician from the council stated that the wiring was installed incorrectly with the wrong mm wiring going in. The council signed this off as safe when it clearly wasn't under the regulations.
    I am not trying to get money from anyone, I just want them to put things right and explain how this was allowed to happen.
    • theartfullodger
    • By theartfullodger 4th Mar 18, 1:11 PM
    • 9,522 Posts
    • 12,767 Thanks
    theartfullodger
    MisalignedHalo
    Great choice of name!
    • deannatrois
    • By deannatrois 4th Mar 18, 2:08 PM
    • 5,366 Posts
    • 7,523 Thanks
    deannatrois
    I am afraid the council will find any way out of paying for repairs they can (in a repair minefield myself). This is a garage, not your house, the fan was installed by a previous tenant not them, it probably wasn't needed in the garage unlike in a house. Yes there are some things they should have done, perhaps, but in these days of not enough money, I have absolutely no doubt they will find ways to avoid having to repair the garage. And stick to these excuses til they can't anymore, if you reach that point.

    This is from experience as I have said.

    I hope you have better success with your insurance. But you might not as I assume its contents insurance.

    Sorry can't be more optimistic. I hope I am wrong.
    • squinty
    • By squinty 4th Mar 18, 2:31 PM
    • 558 Posts
    • 813 Thanks
    squinty
    Some questions

    a. When did you move in?
    b. When was the rewire?, and what did they do?
    c. Were you allocated the property, or was this a mutual exchange?
    • MisalignedHalo1971
    • By MisalignedHalo1971 4th Mar 18, 2:42 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    MisalignedHalo1971
    I have lived here for 18yrs. The rewiring was done 18months ago including a new consumer unit but I don't remember anyone coming to sign the electrics off (although I could be wrong) they rewired the whole house but not the garage.
    I was allocated the property, it was not an exchange.
    Many thanks for your response
    • HampshireH
    • By HampshireH 4th Mar 18, 3:01 PM
    • 634 Posts
    • 643 Thanks
    HampshireH
    Just to reassure you on one point. No one separate to the electrician would need to come and sign a rewire off.

    The elec cert is the only way you will know if all circuits were tested. I imagine they were. The garage may not have required upgrading.

    Ask for a copy of it. Your council should provide it if you haven't already got one.

    I hate to say it but electrical faults do happen. There isn't always someone to blame (As I know you have acknowledged above)
    • HampshireH
    • By HampshireH 4th Mar 18, 5:17 PM
    • 634 Posts
    • 643 Thanks
    HampshireH
    Just to reassure you on one point. No one separate to the electrician would need to come and sign a rewire off.

    The elec cert is the only way you will know if all circuits were tested. I imagine they were. The garage may not have required upgrading.

    Ask for a copy of it. Your council should provide it if you haven't already got one.

    I hate to say it but electrical faults do happen. There isn't always someone to blame (As I know you have acknowledged above)
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 4th Mar 18, 6:49 PM
    • 17,356 Posts
    • 15,700 Thanks
    AdrianC
    What point are you making with the comment about the 16A fuse? That does not sound like a safety issue, more of a pain in the bum when it blows at 3.8kW.
    Originally posted by John-K
    What the hell kind of extractor fan is this...? For a garage...?

    Even something rated as "commercial", and rated to move 670 cubic metres of air an hour, is <50w...
    https://www.screwfix.com/p/manrose-commercial-axial-extractor-fan/70940

    Something like this, rated to move 3,400 cubic metres of air an hour, is 200w...
    https://www.carbuildersolutions.com/uk/16-electric-cooling-fan-curved-blade

    3,800w? The garage would probably start to move before the breaker was an issue...

    Oh, wait. I've found one that's above that. Just.
    http://www.justfans.co.uk/soler-palau-contra-rotating-tcbtx2-630-ip65-p-1719.html
    It's intended for commercial kitchens in places like takeaways... It'll move nearly 18,000 cubic metres of air per hour.

    No, I don't think that's our problem...

    What I suspect happened was that the fan started to seize, so the amount of current being pulled increased dramatically. The 16A breaker should have tripped, but if the cabling was too small, it'd have overheated first - or any poor connections, or maybe the fan itself overheated.

    So, ultimately, the problem is probably that the breaker was rated too high, not too low.
    • Smodlet
    • By Smodlet 4th Mar 18, 7:39 PM
    • 2,997 Posts
    • 6,030 Thanks
    Smodlet
    I am really struggling to understand how 15000 worth of damage could be caused by a garage fire unless the garage is joined to the property. Did you have a vintage car in there or something? Are you saying the fire has damaged the house as well as the garage? You mentioned fascias and soffits having melted. Were some of the contents damaged inside the house?

    If this is the case, surely the council have to repair the damage to the house, don't they? Especially if the roof is compromised by melted roof lining products allowing the rain in.

    If the damage is purely to a separate garage, perhaps they can just leave it.
    What is this life if, sweet wordsmith, we have no time to take the pith?
    Every stew starts with the first onion.
    I took it upon myself to investigate a trifle; it had custard, jelly, soggy sponge things...
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