8 Tips for Fire Damage
Fires can be extremely devastating to your home and business. When a fire occurs, and damage is done, it can be extremely stressful and frustrating to figure out what to do next. The most important thing to remember is to stay calm and read these tips on what to do next.
After the trucks leave, your property will likely suffer from not only fire and smoke damage, but also widespread water damage and flooding from firefighting efforts. That is where SERVPRO can help you get your property back in good shape. SERVPRO professionals who are specialized in fire and water damage restoration will quickly clean up and restore your home and belongings. They also remove the pervasive smoke odor and deep-clean soot from upholstery and carpet. Call as quickly as you can, as the longer you wait, the worse the damage will become.
Keep Hands Clean
With all of the residue from the fire laying around, it is a good idea to keep your hands as clean as possible by washing them and avoiding touching any soot or dust with your bare hands. If you have to touch something that has been burned in the fire, use protective gloves to protect your skin and avoid spreading any of the residue around. The soot and dust will spread very easily and can be very dangerous if it gets into your eyes or mouth, so keep your hands as clean as possible to avoid any health hazards.
When your home is still waiting to be cleaned and restored by SERVPRO, it is highly recommended that you keep all pets away from the damage for their safety and for yours. You do not want your pets tracking any soot or debris around and you definitely do not want them getting any of it in their mouths. The remnants of the fire can be extremely dangerous if animals consume it and if it gets onto their paws or fur, they bring it with them everywhere they go. The best you can remove them from the area, the better for everyone’s safety.
Empty Freezer and Refrigerator
If the fire damage is extensive enough that your power is turned off, remember to empty your freezer and refrigerator. This will save time and maintenance down the road when you do not have to deal with rotting and stinky food that was left in the kitchen. Beyond the refrigerator, it is safe to say that removing all food that was in the presence of the fire should be disposed of for safety purposes. It is not safe to consume food that has been touched by flames or smoke and can cause damage to your health if eaten.
Avoid Electrical Appliances
After a fire takes place in a home, any electrical appliances in the area should be avoided. The wires in electrical appliances can become extremely dangerous if they have been exposed to any flames or smoke. It is best to not touch these appliances and let the SERVPRO professionals dispose of the appliances properly so that no further damage occurs and additional fires do not start.
Have Dishes and Eating Utensils Assessed
Eating food off of any contaminated dishware or utensils can cause severe illness. Avoid this by having your items properly inspected by a SERVPRO professional restoration specialist. If the items are not able to be restored, they need to be disposed of properly so that they do not interfere with the health of anyone who comes in contact with them.
Change Air Filters
It is important to change the air filters after a house fire to avoid spreading smoke around even more. During a fire, smoke can drift through household ducts and become trapped. Adding a new filter into the mix can help trap the odor and reduce the dispersion of it throughout your home. If not properly removed, smoke odor can recur from time to time, especially during any warm or damp days.
Make a List
Making a list of all items that you believe have been permanently damaged or ruined by a house fire can help assist your insurance company with your claim. If it is possible, take as many pictures as possible of the damaged areas and make detailed notes of what has been lost. SERVPRO professionals will do their best to restore any damaged items such as dvd players, clothing, and furniture. If there are items that are beyond salvation, making your insurance company aware of the damage is the best method of having those items replaced or compensated.