10 Jan 2012

Fire at Toronto storage facility puts new importance on insurance policies

A five-alarm fire that broke out in a Toronto storage facility early Monday morning is still going, as firefighters worked tirelessly through the night to keep it contained, City Toronto News reports.

The main reason the fire is still raging is due to the restrictions fire crews are facing.

"We're going to have building engineers on site…to see if we can be more aggressive," Toronto fire division commander Mike McCoy, told the publication. "Right now, we're erring on the side of caution. No one's going inside. We can't get in…there's a lot of partial blockages."

The news outlet reports that there is currently at least $1 million in damages.

According to Global Toronto, most people who rent space at storage facilities only get a partial insurance policy, meaning they are only covered for a certain span of time, or in many cases will only get reimbursed for approximately 10 percent of damages. However, many facilities do offer better insurance policies when people first sign up. Most times these policies will cover theft, fire and damages.

Allan Barkin, owner of Jiffy Self Storage, spoke to the news outlet about the importance of having the right insurance and how storage facility owners can improve their buildings to curb such accidents from occurring in the first place.

Barkin added that at his facility, he considered potential risks like fires, and opted to have concrete ceilings and floors to prevent spreading and has sprinkler systems in each unit to put out fires right away should they start. 

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