What Not to Do After Experiencing Fire at Home
After a fire, it is essential to know what to do and not do to minimize long-term damage. Be sure to take pictures for your insurance company and secure the property from theft and inclement weather until a professional can inspect it. Be sure to contact a public adjuster after taking photos for an assessment and cleanup. These professionals can recommend Precision Environmental to help clean and secure the property.
In addition to charred walls and smoky carpets, fire damage can affect your home’s electrical wiring and foundations. It is best to hire a professional fire restoration company Denver after a house fire. They will use systematic best practices honed over 40 years and state-of-the-art equipment to clean and restore your home from top to bottom. The first step before cleaning is having your home inspected for safety. A fire marshal or your insurance company representative may do it.
Protective clothing, including close-toed shoes, long pants, and a face mask, is also a good idea. It is essential to ventilate the area you will be working in as you will be using various cleaning products that can cause health damage if inhaled. A drop cloth underneath the place where you will be working to catch spills and drops would be beneficial. It can help prevent the spread of stains and simplify the cleanup process.
Don’t Turn On Electricity
It may be your instinct to pour water on an electrical fire, but this is a no-no. Water is a natural conductor of electricity, so it can cause you to be electrocuted if it comes into contact with your body. It enables the fire to spread if it’s near combustible materials. Even if an outlet looks undamaged, waiting before turning anything on is best.
Electrical fires cause more injuries and monetary damage than any other type of fire, so it’s essential to leave the power to professional electricians until you are told your property is safe. If your home has been cordoned off with yellow tape or a color-coded sign, it is probably only safe to enter once you get more information from the fire department and local authorities about whether it’s safe. It would help if you left your belongings with a trusted friend while waiting to restore your home.
Don’t Try to Save Anything
The fire damage caused to your home by smoke, soot, and the water used to put out the flames is severe. Unless you are an experienced fire damage restoration expert, leaving any attempts at cleaning or salvaging items up to your insurance agent and professionals is best. When you can return to your property after being cleared by the fire department, you must protect your belongings from further damage by vandalism or the weather.
Boarding up open windows, doors, or any holes in the roof is essential. It would help if you also were on the lookout for signs of fire damage to your landscaping, such as melted or charred vegetation. It will help you document your losses and speed up the process of receiving reimbursement from your insurance company. You should also discard open food containers, canned goods or other perishables. These can be contaminated with toxic fumes and ash residue.
Don’t Try to Clean Smoke Residue
Smoke residue can be challenging to clean from surfaces, especially if left untreated. It can also be a health risk, particularly for pregnant women and children. Soot can irritate the respiratory system and can make its way into the bloodstream. It can cause serious problems, such as lung disease and heart disease. It would help if you only attempted to clean smoke damage on a tiny scale, and you must be sure to wear rubber gloves. Mix a solution of TSP (trisodium phosphate) with water in a bucket and dip a sponge into the solution.
Then, rub the surface of the affected area to remove any streaks or residue. It is best to wait until a professional has deemed it safe to return home, as the fire could have compromised structural elements. Document the damage by photographing it and saving any receipts for fire-related costs. Move out temporarily until your property is restored.