Dos and Don’ts of Fire Damage [Infographic]
If, unfortunately, your premises has experienced the perils of a fire, following its extinction, you will sadly be left with all the aftermath to deal with. But do you know what happens to a building and its contents after being exposed to fire, and do you know exactly what you need to do if this eventuality were to happen?
Metal fixtures and fittings, such as taps and door handles will begin to gradually corrode. Even if there are materials that are not corrosive, the exposure to soot and dirty water is likely to contaminate it and can even cause illness if not treated in the correct manner.
It is natural to feel the urge to clean everything straight away in order to get your workplace back to normal, however this could be severely detrimental to the recovery of your building. Instead, there are certain steps that need to be followed to restore your premises back to its original condition. It is important that you remain calm and remember the things that you should and shouldn’t do, in order to stand the best chance at salvaging your items.
Evidence is the most valuable thing when it comes to making an insurance claim. You should take photographs to show how bad the damage is, and make a backup of them too. This is the only proof you will have, so it’s important it is the first thing you do.
Contact your insurance company
Once you have the photographic evidence, your next step should be to contact the insurance company. After speaking with them, you will hopefully have a better idea of the events that will follow, for instance emergency water extraction, boarding up the doors and windows and anything else that needs doing.
Bin the food & drink
Do not attempt to keep or consume any food or drink, even if you have cleaned it. Once you have thrown all food and drink away, empty out the fridge and freezer and prop the door open to let the air circulate.
Be aware that if your heating is turned off, yet outside temperatures are freezing, there is a chance your pipes could burst. To avoid this from happening, pour a tablespoon of antifreeze down all sinks, toilets and baths.
Do not enter
Never enter the building before the fire brigade have given it the all clear. The fire department need to thoroughly check the whole premises and announce it is safe before you can re-enter the building.
Do not attempt to turn on, clean or use any electrical items that have been exposed to fire, smoke or water. This includes turning lights on, if the ceilings are wet, plus the wiring could be faulty.
Water, electricity and gas
These would have more than likely been turned off. Do not turn them back on unless the fire department tells you otherwise.
Do not attempt to wash any clothes or fabrics, including curtains, in a normal washing machine or take it to the dry cleaners. They will need specialist smoke removal treatment in order to extract all the toxic smoke from them. Any attempt at doing it yourself could have a reverse effect and actually set the smoke odour further into the fabric.
CleanSafe Emergency Cleaning
If there is anything you are unsure of, the best thing to do is leave it and get in touch with us here at CleanSafe as soon as possible.
Certain things are best left to specialist cleaners, like ourselves, and the team at CleanSafe are used to dealing with these sorts of emergency situations on a daily basis and can be there to help you through it all.