Being Safe After Fire Damage

Being Safe After Fire Damage

BY David Libowitz

The U.S. Fire Administration states that residential fires are the leading cause of deaths in America. In a lot of cases, taking precautions such as cleaning out dryer lint from the dryer vent or switching to candles that are flameless would prevent a disaster from happening. There are three main terms you should understand when thinking about the risk of fire in your home – prevention, mitigation, and restoration.

Fire Mitigation
Mitigation is defined by FEMA or the Federal Management Association as the effort to lower the loss of both property and loss in the event of a disaster. This means taking action to realize what dangers there are and taking measure to manage them which are proactive, like getting insurance to help pay for the costs of restoration or investing in services in the community.

Fire Damage Restoration
This is the process which starts once the property is deemed safe by authorities. An acidic after effect of a fire, smoke can stain and corrode surfaces like countertops and walls. Sometimes, steps taken to put the fire out can cause even more damage than the fire even did. This is why the right fire restoration methods deal with smoke, heat and water damage.fire

What You Can Do Yourself
● First, make the call to the professionals. You will need the help of a professional fire restoration company to mitigate your damages from the fire.
● Open up any windows for air movement inside and getting the smoke out of rooms.
● Take kids and pets somewhere that is free of smoke. Smoke has carcinogenic gases that can affect their health. If you can go to a trusted neighbor, start there, and then move into a temporary place with family or friends until the restoration is completed.
● If there is no power, take all food out of the freezer and refrigerator. Once there is nothing left inside, keep the doors open to stop any smells from building up inside the units.
● Take a complete inventory of the contents of your home. Create a list of anything that needs to be replaced, and take photographs of all the damage as well. You’ll want copies of this for your insurance company, for your personal records and maybe even the authorities investigating the fire. Make around five copies so you have one on hand just in case you need it.

What You Should Let the Professionals Do
● Board up your property.
● Disinfect, clean, and sanitize personal belongings and structure.
● Remove any standing water.
● Remove soot and smoke from furniture, walls, wood trim or any other surface that is absorbent.
● Turn off any home systems such as an air conditioner or furnace.
● Keep away from electrical devices like TVs, appliances or stereos until the team of fire restoration professionals says it is safe.

There are some things that you shouldn’t try on your own because of the risk of smoldering ash and toxic gases. The right safety equipment is needed for fire restoration services to get the work completed without taking risks.

Fire damage can be overwhelming for any homeowner. Contacting a professional fire damage restoration company will help ease the pain. They have technicians that are trained to handle any damage done by a fire. They will get your home back to new in no time.

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About author

David Libowitz

David is the Owner of SERVPRO of West Palm Beach, and was recently appointed the Chairman of the Advisory Board of the University of Miami Brain Tumor Initiative. David graduated from Tufts University with a B.A. in Economics and The Wharton School with an MBA in Finance. David has an extensive career investing in and working with companies to facilitate their growth, both organically and through acquisitions. David spent 11 years at Warburg Pincus (one of the largest private equity firms in the world), and worked his way up from Associate to Partner. Over the course of his career, David has served on the Board of Directors of 15 private and public companies and was also the CEO of a start-up software company. David has IICRC Water Damage Restoration and Applied Structural Drying Certifications and also holds a Lead Based Paint Certification. http://www.servprowestpalmbeachfl.com

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