If you’ve experienced a fire in your home, you know the devastating effects that can remain after the fire has been completely extinguished. Here are some tips to consider for getting your home back to functioning as close to normal as before the fire occurred.
5 Steps to Take after the Fire Is Extinguished
After the fire department has left your property and all threats of fire have been removed, there are certain steps you should take to prevent further damage to your home. Below is a list of 10 tips from the Housing and Urban Development agency on post-disaster restoration and cleanup.
We’ve compiled additional tips to help you in your cleanup and restoration efforts.
1. Safety First
Always be cautious when entering a building after a fire. Don’t even attempt to enter the premises until the fire department has given you the go-ahead that it is safe to do so. Even when cleaning up the exterior, it’s strongly advised to wear protective gear, such as:
- Long-sleeved shirts
- Close-toed shoes
- Work gloves
- Safety glasses or goggles
- Face masks: ideally with two straps for proper sealing and marked with NIOSH, N95, or P100
- Hard hats
If you are unsure if the premises are safe, it’s always best to call in the professionals who are experienced and knowledgeable in fire restoration and cleanup.
2. Boarding Up
The fire, as well as the firefighters, may have left your home exposed to the elements and vandalism. You’ll need to make sure the exposed areas, like roofs, doors and windows, are boarded up sufficiently to protect it from further damage from rain, snow, critters and vandals.
3. Mitigating Water Damage
Unfortunately, fires are extinguished using water, which can cause additional problems. It’s important to address possible causes of further water damage, rotting and mold by drying out the premises and contents.
4. Inventory Items
You’ll need to inventory any furnishings, personal possessions and other items remaining inside and outside the building to determine if they can be salvaged. If not, you’ll need to record them for insurance purposes and remove them from the property and dispose of them.
For those items that can be salvaged, they’ll need to be cleaned up. You may be able to do that yourself, or you may need a professional restoration specialist to step in. They have the commercial drying tools and facilities that can return your possessions back to normal.
5. Take Care of Yourself and Loved Ones
Any disaster or traumatic event causes undue stress on the individuals experiencing it. Be aware of emotional and physical effects on the people who were affected by the fire and resulting impacts of it.
Be on the lookout for symptoms like the following that could be signs of emotional stress:
- Feeling physically and mentally drained
- Having difficulty making decisions or staying focused on topics
- Becoming easily frustrated on a more frequent basis
- Arguing more with family and friends
- Feeling tired, sad, numb, lonely or worried
- Experiencing changes in appetite or sleep patterns
To minimize the emotional impact of post-disaster occurrence, it’s important to try to return to your normal daily activities. Maintain a healthy diet, get sufficient rest, stay positive and solicit help if needed.
Call St. Louis Cleaning and Restoration for Professional Post-Fire Restoration
Because fire can cause devastating effects to your property and result in additional residual damages, you may want to consider hiring the professionals at St. Louis Cleaning and Restoration.
We have the experience, knowledge and resources to address the after-effects and damage caused by fires and clean and restore your property to its normal conditions.
St. Louis Cleaning and Restoration offers 24/7 emergency service because we know quick response is crucial to proper restoration after catastrophic events. Contact us immediately for help in these situations.