Thursday, 21 January 2021

Code Corner: Fire damaged structures

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A fire damaged building in Lucerne. Courtesy photo.

 


LAKE COUNTY – One of the worst nightmares is a home damaged or destroyed by fire. Possibly, the structure has been only partially damaged but fire often results in the complete loss of a dwelling or structure.


Just as traumatic can be the loss of household possessions and heirlooms. This is one of the reasons to have remodels, additions and electrical work done by licensed contractors with permits, providing protection to the property owner.


County and state codes require a structure damaged by fire be examined by a competent building inspector before the removal of any fire-damaged materials. The inspector will determine the extent of damage, and if repair or removal is appropriate.


In some cases the owner or occupant is anxious to immediately commence work and secure the structure from further damage by weather, or vandalism. However, there is often an insurance adjuster who must check the damage and provide an assessment prior to repairs.


Additional concerns exist because it is possible that the supporting structure is burned to a point where the structural integrity of the building is jeopardized and can not be repaired. Also, electrical wiring may appear to be in good condition, however, close inspection may reveal serious hazards which could create another fire.


It is imperative that property owners in the unincorporated areas of Lake County or their contractor contact the County Building and Safety Division and obtain the necessary permits to either repair, replace or demolish the structures or dwelling after a fire.


If you are unsure of how to proceed or require additional information please contact one of the Building and Safety Division offices: Lakeport office, for areas of central to northern Lake County at 263-2382; or Lower Lake office, areas of central to southern Lake County at 994-6285.


Code Corner is a series of informational articles relating to Lake County Codes enforced by the Lake County Code Enforcement Division of the Community Development Department.


Information can also be obtained from the county's Web site at www.co.lake.ca.us/Government/DepartmentDirectory/Code_Enforcement.htm.


Often County codes are similar to those in the incorporated cities. If you live in one of Lake County’s two incorporated cities and have questions, check with their Code Enforcement: City of Clearlake Code Enforcement at 994-8201, Extension 115 or 118; City of Lakeport Code Enforcement at 263-3056, Extension 7.


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