7 Facts to Know About Cleaning Up After Fire Damage

We use fire every day of our lives. People rely on fire to do many things like heating their homes and cooking. At the same time, fire can be very dangerous. Even a single, short fire can lead to many serious problems. When cleaning up in the aftermath of home fire damage, it is important to keep certain facts in mind.

Put the Fire Out Completely 

Keep in mind that fire is incredibly dangerous. It’s best to stay out of the home until it’s been shown safe to finally enter. There may be lingering smoke in the home. Do not come inside and begin the process of cleaning it until fire safety officials certify that the space is completely safe to enter. 

Water Damage 

Many firefighters use water to put out fires. Even a short fire may require the use of gallons of water in the home for several minutes. While water is very effective at putting out fires, it’s also a process that can leave the entire area sodden and full of water damage. It’s best to remember that the area may have large pools of water after the fire has been put out. The first step when cleaning out the home is often finding ways to remove the puddles of water that are on the floors and often everywhere else after the fire has been put out.

Getting it Dry

Left unchecked, water can lead to all sorts home pg damage. Over time, standing pools of water can lead to problems such as mold that ultimately damage the entire structure. Mold and mildew can also lead to potentially serious health consequences. A homeowner should be prepared to clean up with the use of items like dehumidifiers that can remove moisture from the air.

Structural Damage 

Getting at a fire can be tough. Firefighters don’t always have the time to contact the homeowner to get access to a key to open a lock. They need to get inside as fast as possible. It’s not uncommon for firefighters to break down a door, wall or window. They’re there to protect people from dying in a fire. Be prepared to confront possible structural damage to the home in the aftermath. 

Surveying the Damage 

Once the space has been cleared out and is safe to enter, now is the time to figure out the full extent of the damage. Even a short fire of limited duration may have caused serious damage to much of the house. A fire in the kitchen, for example, may have damaged all of the appliances, tiling and much of the home itself. Any homeowner should create an overall plan that locates the damage and figures out exactly what heeds to be done to each space to fix it. 

Removing Soot and Ashes 

When a fire burns, it leaves material behind. Soot and ashes can easily coat many of the spaces in the home. Soot can discolor many types of materials including common fabrics like velvet and silk. Soot can also discolor the walls and ceilings. Ash can settle on many interior furnishings and items like carpeting. These materials need to be removed as soon as possible. An expert may be able to salvage some of the items. However, this is not always the case. After the fire has been out, now is the time to figure out what can be saved. It’s also the time to think about what needs to be discarded and making sure that such items are disposed of properly.

Preventing it From Happening Again 

A fire might start for many reasons. Sometimes it begins because a neighbor was careless with a cigarette. In other instances, the homeowner might be at fault. In that case, it’s best to review their actions and try and figure out exactly what went wrong. A fire expert can help the homeowner realize what led to the fire. It’s best to also review all necessary safety procedures in the aftermath of a fire. The goal is to make sure that everyone in the house knows exactly how to get out safely.

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About the author: Wifred Murray

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