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Fire Damages: 7 Important Steps to Follow Before Returning to Your Property


Fire Damages

Fire damages are one of the homeowner’s and businesses’ nightmares. In just a minute, it can destroy an entire room. Fire damages have lots of effects on the place and could lead to some serious health issues if not treated properly.  

A fire in a house is one of the most alarming events for an owner for it can create an extensive amount of harm. That likewise incorporates serious issues, for example, smoke odor punctures building materials and personal belongings, canned goods that were hit by the flame can expand and contract, causing nourishment decay, and since firemen need to soak water to stifle fire to your home, it can prompt water damage. 

Fire damages allude to the physical harm to a property because of burning. This harm may either be straightforwardly brought about by the blazes or could happen because of smoke and other destructive substances produced by the flame.

Fire damages can be crushing. It is essential to contact an organization that gives fire harm reclamation benefits as this can get intensify if not treated appropriately.

Wildfires happen between April to October, with their peak activity between mid-May and August. The common causes of fires are cooking accidents, smoking (that is a leading cause of both home and wildfires), heating equipment, electrical appliances, candles, children playing with fire, faulty wiring, and flammable liquids. Commercial and residential properties are also at risk when a nearby building catches fire during the wildfire season.

There are six types of fire damages:

  • Class A: Fire involving flammable solids like paper, cloth, wood, and plastics.
  • Class B: Fire involving flammable liquids or solids that can liquefy.
  • Class C: Fire involving flammable gases like propane, hydrogen, natural gas, and butane.
  • Class D: Fire involving combustible metals such as sodium, magnesium, and potassium.
  • Class E: Fire involving elements from Class A and B, along with electrical components.
  • Class F: A particularly intense and destructive fire involving cooking oils and fats.

In addition, insurance companies often classify fire damages into two categories: primary and secondary. The primary category includes damage caused directly by the flames, while the secondary category includes damage caused by smoke or other substances released during the fire.

Do’s and Dont’s After Fire Damages

In case of fire damages, fast action is important:

  1. Always clean and protect chrome trim on taps and kitchen appliances. Homeowners can use a light coating of petroleum jelly for protection.
  2. Brush-vacuum loose smoke particles from upholstery and carpets before normal traffic.
  3. Open windows and doors for ventilation.
  4. Change your furnace filter if the blower was operating.
  5. Empty your freezer and refrigeration when the electricity is off.
  6. Wash off laminate countertops and horizontal surfaces of appliances.
  7. If the power is off, call a plumber for assistance in draining the heating system.
  8. Turn off electronic appliances, most importantly computers in and around the damaged area.

However, it’s important to be cautious and avoid actions that could make the situation worse:

  1. Avoid trying to wipe or clean walls, ceilings, or other surfaces that can absorb substances.
  2. If possible, refrain from using upholstered furniture.
  3. After a fire, do not consume food from open packages in cupboards; it’s best to dispose of them.
  4. Wait until the building is adequately deodorized before sending smoke-damaged garments to a dry cleaner.

7 Important Steps to Follow Before Returning to Your Property After Fire Damages

When the homeowners want to return to their property, here are some steps to follow:

  1. Use extreme caution both outside and inside. Various risks may still be present, such as ash pits and downed trees, poles, and power lines. 
  2. Beware of damaged areas of floors and roofs. These can collapse without warning and are often covered in debris such as fallen interior finishes and insulation, limiting your ability to judge the structure’s stability. If you’re going to enter the property, wear the proper PPE (steel-toed boots, eye protection, respirator, protective suit, and hard hat), watch for dangling burnt overhead hazards, and enter slowly listening for sounds of creaking or shifting. If in doubt, consult the contractor.
  3. Check every area for sparks, smoke, or embers. This includes the roof, attic, and crawlspace. Sparks and embers may enter through openings in the roof and continue burning unseen.
  4. Do not turn on any utilities that have been disconnected or shut down. Doing so could spark another fire if wiring or equipment has been damaged,  further flood the property, or produce a gas leak. Contact your utility company for the next steps.
  5. Dispose of any food or beverages that were exposed to flames, smoke, soot, or any water that was used to put out the fire. This also applies to medicines, cosmetics, and toiletries.
  6. Contact your insurance company. You should do this as soon as possible after a fire. If the fire affected other properties in your area, speed is even more important to prioritize your claim. Follow any instructions on what you should and should not do to maximize the amount of support from your claim.
  7. Hire a professional with specialized expertise in smoke cleaning to complete a proper assessment. Smoke contamination can travel to areas of property and/or belongings that may not be visible to the untrained eye.

If the insurance prohibits inclusion for fire damages, at that point, fire insurance may be obtained independently. Particularly, if the property contains important things that can’t be secured with standard homeowner insurance coverage. Furthermore, the insurance agency’s risk is restricted by the arrangement and not by the degree of damage or harm supported by the property owner. 


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