Education

What to Do After a Fire in Your House

Fire in Your House
Written by Pradeep Kumar

In this article, we will describe all the actions taken after a fire in your house, apartment or business. We should note right away that most of the information applies to situations where the property is badly damaged by smoke or fire or from the water from extinguishing the fire.

Make Sure it is Safe

Do not enter burned premises without the permission of the fire brigade commander. Before allowing you to do so, firefighters should look around to

  1. Make sure the fire is out, and there will be no reignition.
  2. Find out how badly the rooms are damaged and if there is no risk of walls, ceilings, or roof collapse.
  3. If everything is okay, you will be allowed in. If not, the apartment or house will be sealed.

Don’t Clean Up Burned Out Rooms

Once you enter an affected dwelling, you can only look around and assess the consequences. You may not touch, move, remove, or take anything with you. After a fire, everything must remain to determine the cause of the Fire in Your House or properly.

Order a Fire Damage Assessment

If you insured the burned property or the fire was the fault of a third party, you need to get a damage assessment report and certificate. Call or notify the insurer in writing no later than three days after the fire. In advance, you should verify what kinds of documents you will need — most often an insurance contract, property records, and a list of destroyed property.

How to Clean Up After a Fire

Is fire mitigation possible? You will not be able to clean up quickly after a fire, and it may take anywhere from a couple of days to more than a week. Also, be prepared for the considerable expense of purchasing everything you need, especially if you do it yourself. Prepare for the cleanup. First of all, you need to prepare for cleaning and buy:

  • 4-5 stiff brushes;
  • garbage bags that are large and thick;
  • basins for water and garbage buckets;
  • cleaners and detergents;
  • 2-3 packages of sponge;
  • plastic sheeting and duct tape;
  • metal trowel;
  • tools: hammer, hammer, drill, etc.;
  • cleaners and detergents.

Also, for cleaning, you will need a powerful vacuum cleaner — professional, industrial, designed for large and construction debris. Such equipment is expensive, so we advise you to rent it.

You will also need a lot of rags. For this purpose, tear up unnecessary things like old towels and bedding — in general, everything that is no longer usable.

Being in rooms where there is a fire is dangerous to your health and well-being. So you need to provide yourself with personal protective equipment: a Casper suit, a respirator, goggles, gloves. And on the last preparatory stage, it is necessary to open all the windows; during the entire cleaning, ventilate the rooms should constantly.

Throw Out All the Large Debris

Rarely anything can survive a severe fire. Therefore, the first thing to do is throw away burnt furniture, appliances, and furnishings. Next, remove the charred curtain rods from the windows. Unscrew the damaged baseboards. Remove chandeliers and other light fixtures. 

If you have any remaining furniture or appliances, clean them up and move them outside (if possible). Keep everything separate from the destroyed property so that you don’t accidentally throw away anything that can be cleaned, washed, and restored. Next, try to empty the fire-damaged areas to make the next step easier.

Take away the Finish Materials

Start with the ceiling. If it was a stretch ceiling, the canvas is most likely burned. Therefore, it is enough to remove the remnants. Next, disassemble the plasterboard construction: remove the plasterboard and unscrew the metal profiles. And if the ceiling is whitewashed, the whitewash is washed off with a sponge and ordinary water.

Next, remove the wallpaper. Plain paper wallpaper is enough to pull the trailing edges. If in some places they hold well, soak them with water or pick them up with a metal spatula. You need to make incisions with a knife and moisten it with water on fleece wallpaper. After the glue dissolves, the wallpaper will quickly come off the wall. And liquid wallpaper should be soaked in primer and removed with a spatula.

It is a little more challenging with painted walls, and the paint will have to be removed either with a bolt or use a solvent. You can also consider heating the surface with a construction hairdryer; when the color is heated, you must remove it with a scraper.

After the primary finishing material is removed, it will be left with a hammer to beat off the plaster.

In the final step, remove the floor coverings. This process is simple and does not require much effort. In the end, remove all construction debris from the room.

Do Dry and Wet Cleaning

Use a powerful vacuum cleaner to pick up small debris and remnants of finishing materials. Use special equipment that for construction debris. A simple household vacuum cleaner is not suitable.

Vacuum not only the floor but also the ceiling, walls, heating radiators, and window openings. Please do not use a broom when dry cleaning; this will create a lot of dust in the room, and you will have to wait for it to settle.

Next, wash all surfaces. Do this from top to bottom — from the ceiling to the floor. Again, use special detergents and chemicals. The main task at this stage is to wash off the soot and grime from all surfaces.

Dry Cleaning of Furniture

If upholstered furniture, mattresses, or carpets are still intact from the fire, have them professionally dry cleaned. You can do dry cleaning of upholstered furniture at home. But it is better to take the rugs to a specialized dry-cleaning service to have them cleaned and dried thoroughly.

Do not dry clean the furniture yourself, and do not use any household tips. You will ruin the upholstery and, as a result, would need to throw away the furniture. Instead, order dry cleaning only from a specialized cleaning company.

Remove the Burning Smell from the Property

It, too, cannot be done by yourself. In such cases, you have to utilize special equipment. All the tips and recommendations from the Internet will not help smoke odor removal. To permanently remove the cinders’ smell, hire a company that specializes in smoke and odor removal, like Clarke Contractors Inc. in Cincinnati, Oh. These companies have special equipment that can quickly and permanently remove any unpleasant odors.

The essence of these methods is to fill rooms with ozone or hot mist. They affect the sources of odor on surfaces and in the air. And they also disinfect all rooms, protecting them from fungus, mold, and dampness.

Turn to the Experts The cleaning process is complicated, and it is time-consuming and costly. Therefore, it is always advisable and more profitable to turn to professionals in fire damage restoration in Cincinnati, Ohio. In addition, a cleaning company helps with the fire damage restoration of apartments after fires.

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Pradeep Kumar

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