An Inside Look at Fire and Smoke Damage Restoration
One of the worse things that can happen to a home or business is a fire. Fires cause great financial hardships, they destroy memories and they displace families. Most fires are caused by a malfunction in the home such as faulty wiring. But homes can also burn as a result of a spreading wildfire, a spark flying over from a neighbor’s burning home or from an act of arson. No matter how the fire starts, homeowners should do three things as quickly as possible: evacuate the home with all loved ones and pets, call 911 to report the fire, and then call a local 24/7 fire and smoke damage company to respond quickly and begin immediate restoration work the instant the fire department says it is safe to enter.
What Kinds of Damage Do Fires Cause?
A fire almost always causes more damage than any other type of disaster. Not only does the fire burn and destroy parts of the home and the items inside, it leaves various rooms charred black. Smoke from the fire also blackens rooms and leaves a smell that is extremely difficult to get out. When a fire devastates an older historic home with expensive carpets, textiles and furniture, fire and smoke damage remediation requires extra care because the damaged items are much more delicate and may require alternative cleaning methods. This was the case when the Burr Ridge Mansion sustained 1.7 million dollars worth of fire damage and required a more comprehensive approach to restoring the interior and antiques within.
Fire damage is like a two-sided coin: when a home sustains fire damage it also takes on water damage from the fire department hoses. Even if a home has partially burned and the fire appears to have died on its own, fire fighters will spray water to ensure no burning ember is still alive that may decide to spring to life and start the fire all over again.
How to Prevent a Home Fire
Although fires can start in the homes of even the most safety conscious people, there are steps homeowners can take to help reduce the risk of a home fire. Start by having the home inspected by a professional. Have the electrical wiring, plumbing, gas, heating and air conditioning systems checked for any thing that may cause a hazard. Also check to make sure there aren’t any overloaded circuit breakers or electrical outlets in the home. Have all breaker connections and fuses checked too. If the lights flicker in your home this is likely a sign that you are “piggy backing” your circuits, or that they may need to be replaced. You should also make sure your appliances are properly grounded. If you just updated your appliances with modern marvels in an old home, there is a good chance they might be improperly grounded with an adaptor to fit the three-pronged connector. If you have a fireplace (not many people in Florida do) make sure it is maintained correctly. Ash should be cleaned out regularly so not to create any blockage.
Finally, use common sense. If you aren’t too sure what is considered practical behavior in the home with flammable items, call a local smoke damage company and ask for some everyday safety tips. For example, never leave burning candles unattended; do not smoke in bed or while lying down (use an ash tray when you are alert and sitting upright), and turn off all appliances before leaving the house. Also, don’t store any flammable items in the basement such as oily rages, stacks of magazines or petrol.
By understanding the havoc that fire and smoke damage causes, and discovering some safety tips, you can help protect your home and keep your family safe from a terrible fire.