What to Do to Restore Your Home After a Fire
In Ontario, residential property fires account for a large portion of structure fires that occur in any given year.
This type of devastation can greatly impact a household and recovering from this is not an easy process. The fire damage and smoke damage caused by a fire can leave your home in an unknown state.
Hiring a professional restoration service to ensure the health and safety of you and anyone in your household is an important thing to consider in this situation. Some insurance companies actually cover the cost of cleaning done by a fire damage restoration service.
Depending on the amount of damage that was done, there are still some basic steps and things to remember that you can do yourself to begin the process of restoring your home after a fire.
Re-entering Your Home After Fire Damage
After a fire has occurred and the firefighters have done their job, you must get permission from the fire inspector before re-entering your home. The fire inspector assesses the amount of fire damage that was done to your home.
Once you have been granted permission to safely re-enter your home, if you notice any sparking or damaged wires, it is crucial that you inform the fire department immediately.
Exercise caution and be careful when walking through your home or displacing the affected area by fire damage.
Before you begin the fire restoration process, contact your insurance company to ensure you are following their procedure for an insurance claim. Typically, insurance companies require photos or video evidence to have a record of the incident.
Starting the Fire Restoration Process
At this point, you can begin to evaluate the fire damage and smoke damage that has occurred.
The following items should be disposed of if it was damaged or exposed to high heat due to the fire:
- Packaged foods in cardboard or plastic
- Food in jars (seal might have broken due to the high temperatures)
If exposed to high temperatures certain items are no longer deemed safe to consume or use.
A helpful tip to remove the smoke odor caused by the fire is to fill saucers with your choice of:
- Activated charcoal
These can be used to help absorb some smoke odor throughout your home. However, the results of smoke damage can be very difficult to remove completely without the proper equipment.
Fire damage restoration services have the correct equipment to handle this type of cleaning, so speaking to a professional can help make this process easier.
When you’re starting the initial cleaning, take it room by room. Seal up the current one you are working in to avoid particles or soot from spreading around the house.
Check any furniture that may have gotten wet for any signs of mold or mildew.
During this time, take note of any lost or damaged items so that you don’t miss anything when filing your insurance claim.
Appliances & Maintenance After Fire Damage
Any appliances, electrical outlets, fuse breaker panels or central heating should not be used or turned on until they have been inspected by the proper technician.
Replace any damaged filters and insulation in the following:
- Air conditioners
- Water heaters
Recommended Fire Restoration Equipment
As mentioned above, there is sophisticated equipment that professional restoration services operate to make the restoration work easier. However, there are some items that would be good to have on hand if you decide to take care of some aspects of the clean-up.
Equipment to have:
- Proper clothing
- Cameras/video camera
- Notebook and pen to record damage
- Buckets, mops, sponges
- All-purpose/unscented cleaners and detergents
- Large containers for soaking
- A place to hang things to dry
- First aid kit
- Trash bags
- Face mask
- Drinking water (Canadian Red Cross recommends having 4 litres)
Although you won’t be able to completely restore your home with the above equipment, it is a good place to start to repair some fire damage or smoke damage.
At First Response our highly skilled crews use professional equipment to bring your home back to the way it was.
If you are in need of any professional fire damage restoration services in Ottawa or surrounding areas, contact us today.