Inspection Tip: Fire Safety Plans

Learning Objective: Understanding the requirements of a Fire Safety Plan

In simple terms, a Fire Safety Plan involves the sounding of a fire alarm, the notification of the fire department and instructing occupants on how to exit the building safely. The requirements & recommended practices for the development and maintaining of Fire Safety Plans in buildings are found in the various National and Provincial Fire Codes. A building owner and/or agent is responsible to develop and implement the provisions of a Fire Safety Plan and should include specific information on the building and its contents.

Fire Safety Plans – Design

  1. A full risk assessment should be provided for each building to determine the potential risk exposures and/or emergency situations.
  2. The Fire Safety Plan for a building must itemize all fire protection equipment, emergency lights, shut-offs, evacuation routes, etc. in place at each facility.
  3. The building safety or management committee should be involved to assist with the design and implementation of an emergency fire safety response plan.
  4. The Fire Safety Plan should be designed based on the requirements of the local Fire Department and may require to be approved by them once complete.
  5. The Fire Safety Plan should be reviewed on a regular scheduled basis.
  6. Documented practices/drills should be completed as required by the Fire Code.
  7. A de-brief discussion should take place with all involved after a practice or drill to answer any questions or make any changes if required.

Fire Safety Plan – Performance Objectives

  1. The Fire Safety Plan should include documented/practiced procedures to follow in the event of a fire emergency.
  2. The Fire Safety Plan development & implementation should account for all local emergency services including fire, police, ambulance, municipal, utilities (gas, power & water), etc.
  3. Keep up-to-date on all Code, Standards and Regulation changes.
  4. Update changes to the Fire Safety Plan as required.

For additional information, contact: Doug Taylor, CRM, CCPI, Managing Director, Risk Management Group
doug.taylor@suncorpvaluations.com or 1-800-764-4454

About Suncorp Valuations

Suncorp Valuations is a leading provider of independent valuation, appraisal, and advisory services. Suncorp’s valuations and appraisals have been relied upon by leading insurance companies, public and private companies, property owners and managers, tax authorities, accounting bodies, courts, municipalities and financial institutions from all over the world.

Our valuation and appraisal staff consist of professionals that are highly accredited in the fields of engineering, real estate and equipment appraisal, business valuation, risk management and loss control. Our multi-disciplinary, multi-regional and multilingual staff take an interactive team approach and have been involved in some of the most complex valuation assignments across the globe.

For questions or comments, please Contact Us.

How can we help you?

Appraisal Services

  • Insurance Placement
  • Financial Reporting
  • Financing
  • Mergers/Acquisitions
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Corporate Planning
  • Litigation
  • Post Loss Damage Qualification

Advisory Services

  • Loss Control Surveys
  • Implementation and Administration of Property Record Systems
  • Reserve Fund Studies

Arbitration for Real Estate Disputes

The real estate business, by its nature, is complex and therefore ripe for misunderstanding and disagreement.  When there is a dispute, the parties have a choice.  They can go through the public courts which are expensive, time consuming, rigid, and offers no privacy.  Or they can engage the services of a qualified and skilled Real Estate Arbitrator.

Arbitration for Real Estate Disputes

POP QUIZ:  You are a busy business owner.  You are ten years into a 20 year lease for the building that your business operates out of.  The lease has a clause that the rental rate renews at “Market Rent” every five years.  It is renewal time.  Your landlords’ appraiser says that your rent is to go from $15,000/month, to $21,000/month plus all occupancy and common area costs, for the next five years.  But your appraiser says that Current Market Rent is actually $17,000/month plus utilities only.  What do you do?

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF ARBITRATION?

Arbitration is a private dispute resolution service.  As compared to the public courts, arbitration has five significant advantages including speed, cost, privacy, flexibility, and expertise.

Faster:  Disputes going through the public court system can often take many years.  The courts are a public institution that typically has a backlog of cases with long wait times.  An arbitration on the other hand is much faster, often completed within a few months.  That is important, because time is money.

Cheaper:  Arbitrations are very cost effective as compared to the expense of a public trial which may often cost in the tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars.  The cost of a particular arbitration depends on the scope and complexity of the issues, however it is often a fraction of the cost of a court action.

Private:  The privacy advantage of an arbitration is often very attractive to many parties especially when the nature of the dispute is sensitive, or some evidence is confidential or proprietary.  The arbitrator is bound by confidentiality and ethics rules to not disclose any details of the dispute, or even that there is a dispute.

Flexible:  The public courts have rigid procedures including the rules of court and the rules of evidence.  The procedures for an arbitration however can be custom designed for the particular nature of each dispute.  For example, for some disputes a fast track “documents only” arbitration may be appropriate.

Expertise:  In the public court system judges are assigned at random.  However, with an arbitration the parties choose the decision maker.  Parties often engage a qualified arbitrator (Q.Arb or C.Arb) that also has additional specialized qualifications, such as an professional appraiser (AACI or CRA) to arbitrate real estate disputes.

ENFORCEABILITY

Arbitration awards are enforceable.  Provided that all procedures were correctly followed by the arbitrator an arbitration award is often legally enforceable by the courts, very much like a judgement.

POP QUIZ:  You are an investor and you have hired a general contractor to build an apartment building for you.  Your payments to the general contractor are due at certain stages of completion.  The contract says that “a payment of $175,000 is due once the project reaches 25% complete.”  The general contractor says they are at 26% and they want their money now.  You say no, it is at 15% because it isn’t correct to include the delivered but uninstalled material in the percent complete calculation.  Construction has stopped until this dispute is settled.  What do you do?

 

WHAT KIND OF REAL ESTATE DISPUTES CAN BE ARBITRATED?

A Real Estate Arbitrator can help with just about any type of real estate dispute, such as:

  • Lease disputes including interpretation of clauses, rental rate renewals and terms, common area expense allocations, etc.
  • Disputes regarding the interpretation and enforcement of condo/strata rules and regulations.
  • Disputes involving market value, market rent, or other types of value or cost estimates.
  • Issues relating to the allocation of value or cost, such as during creation or dissolution of partnership agreements or other types or shared equity arrangements.
  • Disputes relating to tangible or intangible real estate or property damages and claims.
  • Family disputes over the shared ownership of assets such as cottages, farmland, or revenue properties.

HOW DO I GET STARTED?

If all parties to the dispute are open to arbitration then the first step is to engage a qualified and skilled Real Estate Arbitrator.  A professional with the Q.Arb or C.Arb designation is trained and qualified in all aspects of arbitration services.

It is recommended that your Real Estate Arbitrator also has expertise in the real estate industry.   For example, a qualified real estate appraiser (AACI or CRA) has in-depth training and years of experience in all types of real property valuation issues, as well as expertise in a wide variety of real estate consulting and advisory services.  AACI’s and CRA’s are bound by very strict ethical standards which ensure objectivity and confidentiality.

Once you have engaged a qualified and skilled Real Estate Arbitrator the next step is for the parties and the arbitrator to develop an Arbitration Agreement which establishes the scope, jurisdiction, and procedures for the arbitration.

POP QUIZ:  You are a tenant in a condo/strata strip mall.  Your unit is open storage space only, and all the other units are fully developed offices.  The leases say each tenant must pay “…a proportionate share of the total property tax…”  You think “proportionate” means that the tax bill is divided up based on the assessed value of each unit, and on that basis your share of the tax bill is $3,500/year.  However your landlord and all the other tenants say no, the total tax bill is divided up equally based on occupied square feet, and on that basis your share of the tax bill is $7,500/year.  What do you do?

Real estate disputes are often very complex and can involve a lot of money.  Do you have the time and patience to wind your way through the public courts for all to see?  Or would you be better served to engage the services of an objective, qualified and skilled Real Estate Arbitrator from Suncorp Valuations that has expertise in the real estate industry and speaks your language?

 

About Suncorp Valuations

Suncorp Valuations is a leading provider of independent valuation, appraisal, and advisory services. Suncorp’s valuations and appraisals have been relied upon by leading insurance companies, public and private companies, property owners and managers, tax authorities, accounting bodies, courts, municipalities and financial institutions from all over the world.

Our valuation and appraisal staff consist of professionals that are highly accredited in the fields of engineering, real estate and equipment appraisal, business valuation, risk management and loss control. Our multi-disciplinary, multi-regional and multilingual staff take an interactive team approach and have been involved in some of the most complex valuation assignments across the globe.

For questions or comments, or to be added or removed from this distribution list please Contact Us.

How can we help you?

Appraisal Services

  • Insurance Placement
  • Financial Reporting
  • Financing
  • Mergers/Acquisitions
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Corporate Planning
  • Litigation
  • Post Loss Damage Qualification

Advisory Services

  • Loss Control Surveys
  • Implementation and Administration of Property Record Systems
  • Reserve Fund Studies

Appraisals in the Settling of an Estate or Managing a Trust

Settling an Estate, or Managing a Trust? The role of a professional, accredited appraisal

An Executor or Executrix has many responsibilities and legal obligations. One is to ensure that the assets of the estate are valued accurately. Appraising assets is a complicated affair. Regardless if the estate is small and the assets are few, or if the estate has vast holdings, the Executor/Executrix has a legal responsibility to ensure that the appraisals are accurate, credible, and reliable.

Appraisals when managing trust or estate - featured

With many estates, the assets must often be appraised as of two different dates: as of the date of death for the estate’s tax return; and as of the date of distribution to ensure that the estate is receiving fair Market Value for its assets.

Estate laws and regulations have changed in recent years in many jurisdictions. There can be a higher level of responsibility on an Executor/Executrix as legislatively mandated. The caution therefore is making a mistake and being personally liable. Alternatively, there could be fines or even jail time.

“Executors can be held personally liable for the decisions they make in the course of estate administration. Although you will be acting in good faith, errors – or disagreements and the perception of errors – can result in the executor and the estate being sued by beneficiaries.” -Scot Dalton, President, ERAssure Executor/Insurance.

“In Ontario, penalties include fines ranging from $1,000 to twice the value of the EAT payable, or incarceration for up to two years, or BOTH. On an estate of $1 million, the maximum fine is $29,000.” -Canadian Institute of Certified Executor Advisors

As an Executor/Executrix, you can protect yourself by engaging the services of a qualified professional appraiser; essentially the valuation liability is transferred.

Are You Managing a Trust?

There are many different types of trusts, and many reasons why an individual or family may want to establish a trust. Most trusts hold assets such as investments or property that increase in value over time.

As a trustee, you may be personally liable for any breach in your duties. This responsibility includes establishing the Market Value of each asset in the trust as of the date it was added to the trust, and as of the date it was sold or at other prescribed dates of pertinent legislation.

When it comes to determining the Market Value of the assets in a trust, are you willing to assume the risks and estimate the values yourself, or possibly use an unqualified appraiser? Alternatively, do you ensure that you meet your legal obligations and engage the services of a qualified professional appraiser?

How Suncorp can help?

At Suncorp Valuations we have decades of experience and a staff of highly qualified appraisers. We routinely provide appraisal services across North America and around the world, from the largest cities to the most remote locations.

We will provide you with appraisal reports that are accurate, credible, and reliable. Our qualifications, and the appraisal procedures and standards that we follow, are recognized by Canadian and US tax authorities.

About Suncorp Valuations

Suncorp Valuations is a leading provider of independent valuation, appraisal, and advisory services. Suncorp’s valuations and appraisals have been relied upon by leading insurance companies, public and private companies, property owners and managers, tax authorities, accounting bodies, courts, municipalities and financial institutions from all over the world.

Our valuation and appraisal staff consist of professionals that are highly accredited in the fields of engineering, real estate and equipment appraisal, business valuation, risk management and loss control. Our multi-disciplinary, multi-regional and multilingual staff take an interactive team approach and have been involved in some of the most complex valuation assignments across the globe.

For questions or comments, or to be added or removed from this distribution list please Contact Us.

How can we help you?

Appraisal Services

  • Insurance Placement
  • Financial Reporting
  • Financing
  • Mergers/Acquisitions
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Corporate Planning
  • Litigation
  • Post Loss Damage Qualification

Advisory Services

  • Loss Control Surveys
  • Implementation and Administration of Property Record Systems
  • Reserve Fund Studies

Wood Dust & Carcinogens – Risk Mitigation Considerations

Over the past several years there has been an increase in inspection activity and updates of dust collection systems for Industrial Arts (“IA”) facilities located in many high schools and middle schools. Exposure to wood dust has long been associated with a variety of adverse health effects, including dermatitis, allergic respiratory effects, mucosal, and non-allergenic respiratory effects.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (“IRAC”) has classified wood dust as a carcinogenic to humans. A study completed in 1965 observed that a large number of furniture workers and other wood workers exposed to wood dust in England developed a rare form of nasal cancer (Adenocarcinoma).

Wood dust & Carcinogens - Feature

Controlling exposure

All safety programs should have policies and procedures, as well as references to documentation such as local Occupational, Health & Safety Act’s and Regulation’s. Safety programs should include an ongoing risk analysis system, which accumulates information progressively, noting potential risky and hazardous operations with specific plans in place to mitigate potential injury and property loss.

Basic Safety – Reducing exposures to wood dust

  • Standard ventilation (dust-control systems) should be provided.
  • Dust-control systems should be cleaned, inspected, and maintained on a regular basis.
  • Filter masks should be worn.
  • Eye and face protection should always be provided.
  • Type of wood (species) should be investigated before use to ensure it is safe to use in a school environment.

Stay informed. Many changes take place on a regular basis relative to safety equipment, dust mitigation practices and identified health concerns. Talk to risk management professionals – people in your industry and various other organizations. Suncorp Valuations has experienced personnel that can assist with Loss Control inspection and implementation.

About Suncorp Valuations

Suncorp Valuations is a leading provider of independent valuation, appraisal, and advisory services. Suncorp’s valuations and appraisals have been relied upon by leading insurance companies, public and private companies, property owners and managers, tax authorities, accounting bodies, courts, municipalities and financial institutions from all over the world.

Our valuation and appraisal staff consist of professionals that are highly accredited in the fields of engineering, real estate and equipment appraisal, business valuation, risk management and loss control. Our multi-disciplinary, multi-regional and multilingual staff take an interactive team approach and have been involved in some of the most complex valuation assignments across the globe.

For questions or comments, or to be added or removed from this distribution list please Contact Us.

How can we help you?

Appraisal Services

  • Insurance Placement
  • Financial Reporting
  • Financing
  • Mergers/Acquisitions
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Corporate Planning
  • Litigation
  • Post Loss Damage Qualification

Advisory Services

  • Loss Control Surveys
  • Implementation and Administration of Property Record Systems
  • Reserve Fund Studies

Bienvenue à Montréal Suncorp

 

Suncorp Valuation is extremely excited to announce the opening of a new location along with an amazing new team in Montreal Quebec, Canada.

Visit us at our new location located at 10425 Gouin – #100 Roxboro, Quebec H8Y 1W6.

Our talent pool deepens

At Suncorp Valuations, we have over 50 years of experience in assessing value – market value and insurance replacement value for property of all types: diamond mines to water and wastewater systems; condominium complexes to retail malls; or pulp & paper mills to the house down the road, and all things in between. We are pleased to add to these talented individuals to Suncorp Valuations in our latest office location, Montreal.

Meet Asher Cohen, B.Mech.Eng., ASA Director, Canadian Industrial Valuation Group

Asher Cohen joined Suncorp Valuations in 2017 after 18 years with an international appraisal practice, completing complex industrial engagements around the world. Asher holds a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering degree from Concordia University and is an Accredited Senior Appraiser (ASA), Machinery & Technical Specialties, by the American Society of Appraisers. Asher is fluent in both English and French. See Asher’s full profile at http://suncorpvaluations.com/insight/team/asher-cohen-p-eng-asa.

Meet Daniel Guy, B.Sc., Senior Valuation Consultant

Danny joined Suncorp Valuations in 2017. Prior to this, Danny accumulated 39 years of experience in the valuation industry and has been involved in many complex engagements for a myriad of uses from financial reporting (IFRS/FASB/ASPE/IASB), to purchase price allocation, to insurance placement. Danny has served public sector entities, privately held companies, and many publicly traded corporations. Danny holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Concordia University. Danny is fluent in both English and French,  and has a working knowledge of Italian. See Danny’s full profile at http://suncorpvaluations.com/insight/team/daniel-guy.

About Suncorp Valuations

Suncorp Valuations is a leading provider of independent valuation, appraisal, and advisory services. Suncorp’s valuations and appraisals have been relied upon by leading insurance companies, public and private companies, property owners and managers, tax authorities, accounting bodies, courts, municipalities and financial institutions from all over the world.

Our valuation and appraisal staff consist of professionals that are highly accredited in the fields of engineering, real estate and equipment appraisal, business valuation, risk management and loss control. Our multi-disciplinary, multi-regional and multilingual staff take an interactive team approach and have been involved in some of the most complex valuation assignments across the globe.

For questions or comments, or to be added or removed from this distribution list please Contact Us.

How can we help you?

Appraisal Services

  • Insurance Placement
  • Financial Reporting
  • Financing
  • Mergers/Acquisitions
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Corporate Planning
  • Litigation
  • Post Loss Damage Qualification

Advisory Services

  • Loss Control Surveys
  • Implementation and Administration of Property Record Systems
  • Reserve Fund Studies

Purchase Price Allocation

In the past three years there has been an increase in mergers and acquisitions (“M&A”) activity compared to the prior few years. For example, in the mining sector we are seeing many of our clients opt for purchase of existing assets or companies versus green field exploration and the requisite costs and start up time to find new reserves of commodities.

As many of you are aware, Suncorp’s core services have long been valuations for insurance placement and that continues today. Additionally, we are recognized as industry experts in providing valuation services for Purchase Price Allocation (“PPA”) financial reporting requirements resulting from acquisitions. Accordingly, we felt it timely to offer this quick guide to Purchase Price Allocation Valuation.

Requirements for a Comprehensive PPA Valuation

So, what is required in a Purchase Price Allocation valuation? Essentially, the purchase price paid for the acquired company must be allocated to the tangible and intangible assets. Often, the requirement is driven by accounting standards such as International Financial Reporting Standard (“IFRS”) 3 or Financial Accounting Standard 141 (R) on Business Combinations. Purchase Price Allocation recognizes that most assets are recorded at Fair Value and limited life assets are amortized over their economic life. Accordingly, the tracking of this expense can have a profound impact on year to year reported earnings. Purchase Price Allocation determines Fair Value and allows investors to better assess the company’s worth in a transparent, objective manner.

A Case Study

We can best illustrate the concepts at hand with a recent case study, where we were called upon to assist a Chemical Manufacturing conglomerate as it purchased facilities in North and South America. We were called upon to report Fair Value in compliance with IFRS 3.

Tangible Assets involved in the operations and part of our scope of engagement were:

  • Owned Land
  • Owned Land Improvements
  • Owned Buildings
  • Machinery and Equipment
  • Laboratory Equipment
  • Office Furniture
  • Office Machines
  • Computer Hardware
  • Unlicensed Mobile Equipment
  • Licensed Vehicles
  • Assets Under Rental or Lease
  • Construction-in-Progress

As recommended by IFRS our reporting provided a level of detail/componentization that would facilitate reporting requirements relative to the purchased property. With consideration to the preceding, our service set out to:

  • Componentize and report the major buildings by major components (i.e. structure, roof coverings, interior finishes ad building services)
  • Segregate the Site Improvements by Type (i.e. paving, fencing, lighting, etc.)
  • Itemize the Machinery and Equipment with a Replacement Cost of $100,000 or greater

The Fair Value of other property such as office furnishings and equipment, computer hardware & software and minor tooling, which represented a small component of the overall value, was reported in logical groupings by type and location.

In accordance with IFRS guidelines, we understood that our client would utilize the assets’ Fair Value developed as part of this undertaking, as the cost base to be amortized over the assets’ Remaining Useful Life (“RUL”). Suncorp therefore, also provided an estimate of the RUL for each asset entry.

As per our initial client meeting, we understood that facilities to be purchased varied in terms of profitability. Hence, some economic obsolescence may apply to the less profitable plants. In this instance a Business Enterprise Valuation (“BEV”) determined on a plant-by-plant basis was considered an appropriate approach that would take into account Economic Obsolescence. This ensured that the purchase price allocation reflected “Fair Value” in accordance with IFRS.

Finally, our valuation services included determining the Fair Value of the Identifiable Intangible Assets.

Our valuation developed a comprehensive, supportable conclusion of Fair Value for financial reporting purposes. The provision of our services involved many steps including site inspections and cataloging the tangible assets in order to reach our conclusions of value. We would be happy to meet with you and/or your clients to fully explain PPA services. As we have demonstrated in this short article, this can be a complex endeavor with significant impact on the balance sheet of the purchasing organization.

About Suncorp Valuations

Suncorp Valuations is a leading provider of independent valuation, appraisal, and advisory services. Suncorp’s valuations and appraisals have been relied upon by leading insurance companies, public and private companies, property owners and managers, tax authorities, accounting bodies, courts, municipalities and financial institutions from all over the world.

Our valuation and appraisal staff consist of professionals that are highly accredited in the fields of engineering, real estate and equipment appraisal, business valuation, risk management and loss control. Our multi-disciplinary, multi-regional and multilingual staff take an interactive team approach and have been involved in some of the most complex valuation assignments across the globe.

For questions or comments, or to be added or removed from this distribution list please Contact Us.

How can we help you?

Appraisal Services

  • Insurance Placement
  • Financial Reporting
  • Financing
  • Mergers/Acquisitions
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Corporate Planning
  • Litigation
  • Post Loss Damage Qualification

Advisory Services

  • Loss Control Surveys
  • Implementation and Administration of Property Record Systems
  • Reserve Fund Studies