Fire can be a devastating event. Not only does it cause physical damage to your house and belongings, but it can also take an emotional toll on you and your family. If you have recently experienced a fire, don’t panic. You can take steps to minimize the damage and get your life back on track. Here are 12 quick and simple ways to handle fire damage. We will also highlight critical don’ts for handling fire damage so that you can avoid common mistakes.
How Fire Damages Your House and Property
Any fire incident involves a variety of physical damages like smoke, soot, and water damage from the firefighting efforts. Smoke can cause discoloration on your walls and ceiling and foul odors that will linger in your home. Soot is a fine, powdery residue that can be difficult to remove from surfaces. Water damage may result in mold or mildew growth and the warping of wood furniture.
Quick and Simple Ways to Handle Fire Damage
- Take photos of the fire damage – While it may feel overwhelming, documenting the damages is an essential first step to filing insurance claims and beginning repairs. Photographs can also be used when filing a police report if arson is suspected.
- Prevent further damage – The longer the fire damage sits, the more destruction it can cause. Make sure you seal any holes or openings that allow water and smoke to enter your home or business. Take precautions to prevent people from entering dangerous building areas due to structural damage or instability.
- Ventilate the area – Open windows and turn on fans to help circulate fresh air through your home or business, as this will help reduce the amount of smoke in the building and prevent it from settling into fabrics and furniture. However, be sure not to open any doors or windows damaged by fire; this could cause additional damage.
- Contact your insurance company – Reach out to your insurance company immediately to begin the claims process. You should also contact a fire damage restoration expert for advice and guidance on how best to proceed with repairs and cleanup.
- Clean up any debris – Carefully remove all debris that has been affected by fire, such as furniture and other items. It can be tricky, so you may need professional help for more oversized items or hazardous materials.
- Remove smoke and soot – Smoke and soot particles can be challenging to remove from surfaces. Look for specialized cleaners and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. If you find it difficult, local experts can get it done.
- Treat damaged surfaces – Fire and water can damage wood furniture, walls, and floors. Treat these surfaces with a specialized solution that will restore them to their original condition.
- Clean affected fabrics – Fabrics such as furniture upholstery, drapes, and carpets can be severely damaged by smoke. These fabrics should be professionally cleaned as soon as possible.
- Replace air filters – Smoke particles and other debris can become trapped in the air filter of your HVAC system, causing poor indoor air quality and a foul odor in the building. Replace or clean the filters regularly to prevent this.
- Sanitize affected areas – Fire and smoke can leave harmful contaminants behind, so it is essential to ensure all surfaces are properly sanitized. It includes walls, floors, furniture, draperies, and carpets. Clean all affected areas with a specialized sanitizing solution. The sanitizing solution can be applied with a mop, sponge, or cloth.
- Remove water – Water damage is one of the most common effects of firefighting efforts. Use pumps and vacuums to remove any standing water as soon as possible. It will also help reduce the risk of mold and mildew growth in your home or business.
- Dispose of damaged items – In some cases, items may be too severely damaged and need to be disposed of. Create a separate area in your home or business for articles that cannot be salvaged, and make sure they are correctly discarded.
- Have an electrician check wiring – Electrical systems can be damaged by fire and water, so it is essential to have an electrician inspect them before using any electrical appliances or outlets.
The Don’ts of Handling Fire Damage
- Don’t start cleaning up until you get the okay from your fire and insurance professionals.
- Don’t use any electrical appliances in a wet area.
- Don’t attempt to repair or paint over fire-damaged surfaces without seeking professional help.
- Don’t ignore affected areas of the house caused by smoke and soot.
- Don’t fail to replace windows, doors, or any other structural elements damaged by the fire.
Handling fire damage to your house swiftly is vital to minimize further destruction. Hiring local experts’ services to help clean up and repair the damage is a safe and effective way to restore your property. In the event of a fire incident in your house, contact us. Your home will be back up and running in no time.