SAMAC Articles

General

Tech Note – Failure of Hose Connections

There are numerous types of connections for water pipe in residential and commercial applications. The hose connection, which uses a gasket, is common for residential plumbing. These connections can fail, and may result in a water loss. Although over-tightening the connection appears to be a common factor in their failure, some other possible factors that may contribute to a connection […] Read more…

Tech Note – Press Connect Copper Joints

Press connect copper fittings are increasing in popularity as an alternative to soldered copper connections as these connections require no heat or open flame. Given that they are relatively new to the construction market, there is little information available regarding factors causing water leaks or failures with these mechanically pressed connections. This article explores how one factor, insertion […] Read more…

Tech Note – Steel Damage Due to Fire Exposure

Exposure to temperatures above 650°C, such as those from a fire, can negatively impact the strength of structural steel. Therefore, to assess the safety of a steel framed building after a fire, knowledge of the temperatures to which the steel was exposed is required. An effective method to determine this is to examine changes in other materials within the […] Read more…

Introduction to Engineers and Experts

Many claims involve technical problems, whether it be vehicle accidents, building collapse, fires, injury causation, large industrial losses, or even a question as simple as "Is this witness statement possible?". That's when SAMAC engineers, or other technical specialists, may be called in to help establish what happened, how large the loss was, and who or what might have contributed to the loss. Read more…

Property & Personal Injury

Electrical Fire Causation

Within the insurance industry, the investigation of property and vehicle fires is a major forensic investigation activity. Fire investigators, with fire department background or an engineering background with relevant experience, are normally retained first. The next most frequent expert required is a forensic electrical engineer. Read more…

Arc Mapping 101 – Fire Origin and Cause

Arc mapping is the process of finding the location of energized electrical events, or arcs, within a defined area to “map” an area of origin. Technically, the basic assumption is that an electrical arc which occurs furthest from the power source, usually occurred first. Read more…

Slips, Trips, and Falls

Slips and falls are a common claim but it is rare for technical investigations to be required. However, depending on the situation, a technical slip and fall investigation can provide useful support. Read more…

Vehicles

Event Data Recorder Use in Canadian Criminal & Civil Collision Reconstruction

In Canada the use of information from Event Data Recorders (EDRs) has become more prevalent in both criminal and civil collision reconstruction, and is routinely admitted as evidence in both legal environments. EDR data has been used in criminal and civil investigations for about 20 years; it will become expected data available to the courts […] Read more…

Automobile Brake Systems – A Primer

Many people are not technically knowledgeable about vehicle brake systems, often because they don’t spend time in the driveway repairing them! For those that are involved in the investigation of vehicle accidents, the primer below will hopefully provide an easy to understand background on automobile brakes. The intent is not to tell you what things can go wrong, but to provide an understanding of how these systems work. Read more…

Hybrid Vehicle Brake Systems

The brake systems on dual gas/electric powered hybrid vehicles are designed to operate differently than those used on typical vehicles to which drivers have become accustomed. Read more…

Commercial Trucking

Investigation of large commercial truck losses, whether truck fleet related or off the road (OTR) vehicles such as mine haul trucks, are significantly different than passenger vehicle investigations for many reasons. Read more…

Accident Reconstruction: Event Data Recorders (EDR)

Everyone in the auto insurance industry is aware that recorded data may be available from vehicles after a collision. This data is stored in event data recorders, often incorrectly referred to as “black boxes”. Currently data can be found in one of 3 types of systems, depending on the type of vehicle and fleet owner. Read more…