How do you recover from fire damage?

What to do after a Fire Damage event? | How do you map your path back to normalcy? | A guide to recovering your property and life.

Often people relate “fire season” with winter, and reasonably so: holiday trees, misused space heaters, and candles are common causes of fire disasters. But in fact, most of the National Fire Protection Association’s top causes of residential and industrial fires are year-round hazards. Across both categories, some of the most common fire dangers are cooking equipment, heating equipment, dryers, electrical and lighting equipment, arson, smoking materials and lightening.

Even the best precautions cannot eliminate all risk of fire in homes and businesses. Should the unthinkable happen, then what? What do you do after the fire trucks have left, and you’ve ensured the safety of people and pets? How do you map your path back to normalcy?

  1. Talk with your Insurance Company.  Your insurance agent is experienced in dealing with property emergencies and can make sure you’re aware of your coverage options, and they can recommend Precision Environmental to help you get your property back to pre-loss condition. They can also help you identify coverages you might have for food, clothing and shelter assistance.
  2. Secure the property and prevent further damage. Even after the fire is out, property and contents damage can continue. Water left behind from firefighting efforts become a source of mold and mildew growth, and chemicals used can damage surfaces and contents. Soot and ash create air quality hazards. Unsound roofs and floors can cave in. Unsecured property is susceptible to looting. Emergency mitigation is a job left to experts: Contact Precision Environmental. We provide fencing, shoring, and board ups, and have the equipment and experience for proper water extraction and dry outs. Precision will also begin demolition and remove fire debris, and get you in a position to move on to rebuilding your home or business.
  3. Total Loss Inventory. The Precision Environmental team of Total Loss Inventory specialists will photograph all items; create a detailed list with as much information as possible, including physical description, size, brand, model, year of manufacture and location within your property. Once completed, it will be sent to assist the property owner with providing, to their best ability, the original purchase price, location of purchase, and year of purchase. The List is then sent to the adjuster who has the items valued. The valuation process is used to determine reimbursement. The Total Loss Inventory Report is key to ensure accuracy for both you and your insurance claims adjuster.
  4. Pack-Out. Contents will be moved to an unaffected area of the home/site. In situations where structural repairs are necessary, but contents were not affected by the environmental influence, there is still a need to properly remove those items from the affected area. As contractors know we are specialized in contents handling, moving and storage; some will utilize our service to manipulate (maneuver) the contents to a safe area of the property that will not be disturbed or affected by the structural repairs. In this instance we still perform photographic documentation and ensure items are properly padded and stored on-site to ensure they are safely stored.
  5. Remove smoke damage and soot in the building.  The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has identified over 1200 toxic gasses associated with structure fires. Precision Environmental team of professionals offer a rapid response, quality, and, most importantly, experience. Fire debris and residues from burning plastic, synthetic, and natural materials may be as easy to remove with a duster as household dust or as challenging to remove as old tobacco smoke. It all depends on the fuel and the available oxygen at the time of the fire. Our Fire and Smoke Damage Restoration Services are customizable. Since no two properties are the same, no two fires are either. Therefore, our process will vary from one property to the next. Precision Environmental team of professionals will first assess all your damages before creating a scope of work.

Our Fire Damage Restoration process includes:

Fire Damage Restoration

  • Identifying the source to determine the type of fire that occurred.
  • Evaluating the areas that are wet because of firefighting that may need treatment.
  • Water Mitigation Service (if applicable).
  • Evaluating sensitive materials that may be damaged because of smoke and soot particles.
  • Removing Contents including the collection items you may need for the next coming of days, such as clothing, prescriptions, schoolbooks, business needs, etc.
  • Packing out remaining contents for cleaning and storage.
  • Performing structural restoration, including removal of charred contents that may seal in smoke particles, such as insulation and burned wood.
  • Assessing carpets and floor coverings, which may need to be removed.
  • Safety Inspection of the framing of the house and subfloors.
  • Removing smoke odors of the affected surfaces.
  • Cleaning, eliminating odors, and deodorizing surfaces to pre-loss condition.
  • Returning items to the original location, and making your house feel like home again.

Common Types of Fires That Will Affect You Property

Though all fires can be devastating for your home or commercial building, not all are the same. Each type of fire can result in different kinds of damage, which will require a different kind of solution.

The common types of fires include:

  • Protein Fire: Food from the oven or stove has burned, leaving strong, burned-food odors and smoke residue on contents and surfaces.
  • Complex Fire: Multiple natural and synthetic items inside your home have burned, causing greasy yellow residue on contents and surfaces and synthetic smoke odors. Here, emergency corrosion mitigation is needed to protect at-risk surfaces.
  • Natural Fire: Trees, shrubs, and bushes have burned, and smoke has penetrated the structure from outside, so smoke residue and odor are present.
  • Furnace Malfunction: Heating appliances like oil-fired furnaces have malfunctioned and caused smoke to be distributed throughout the property.

Caring for yourself & loved ones after a fire:

Pay attention to how you and your loved ones are experiencing and handling stress. Promote emotional recovery by following these tips.

  • Limit your exposure to the sights and sounds of disaster.
  • Focus on the positive.
  • Recognize your own feelings.
  • Reach out and accept help from others.
  • Stay connected with your family and/or other support systems.
  • Realize that, sometimes, recovery can take time.
  • Discard any food that has been exposed to heat, smoke or soot.
  • Watch pets closely and keep them under your direct control.

After the Fire: Advice for Salvaging Damaged Family Treasures

How do you recover from fire damage?
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