The holiday season, from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, is the most dangerous time of the year when it comes to fire damage. There are several factors that contribute to this including increased stress and distractions, a higher likelihood of cooking fires and — unfortunately — even the cheeriest of holiday décor and candles. In fact, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports an average of 160 home fires a year due to Christmas trees — many of which are due to electrical issues.
Fire damage restoration jobs can be especially complex because crews must navigate a variety of hazards. Not only are fire damaged buildings often structurally unsound and covered in soot, they are also often wet due to sprinkler systems. Below are important safety tips and reminders for the fire damage restoration process.
Steer Clear of Electricity
Ideally, your team will want to shut off property to the building or otherwise avoid electricity before the situation has been fully assessed. If a structure is wet or wires are damaged, something as simple as turning on the lights can be highly dangerous. Be sure to avoid turning on or trying to clean any electrical appliances unless trained and certified.
Reduce Cross Contamination
On a typical fire damage site, the home or building will be covered in soot and ash. Be mindful of what particles you’re coming into contact with and try to limit moving between areas whenever possible to reduce the chance of further damaging absorbent materials like upholstery, carpet and even the walls. Placing tarps, towels or other barriers can help reduce the transfer of soot particles.
Secure the Damaged Building
Once the initial inspection is complete, restoration professionals will remove any debris or obstacles within and around the structure. Fire damaged buildings will often need to have any damaged walls, windows or roofs covered up. This can be done with a tarp or boards, depending on the location and severity of the damage. This will not only help reduce further structural damage but help create a safer space for your team to work.
Drying and Extraction
Because fire damaged buildings are also often water damaged, the next step involves advanced structural drying techniques. Typically, this is completed by combination of extractors, dehumidifiers and airmovers to effectively — and efficiently — dry the space. Like securing the building, this step is important for a two-fold reason. Working quickly to address water damage, helps prevent further damage and other hazards like mold growth.
As restoration professionals, you know the value of fire safety — especially during the holidays. Following these tips during the restoration work can further help protect your team and keep you safe. If you need to stock up on any restoration materials or add to your equipment, we have what you need. Explore our online catalog or contact us to get the best in restoration equipment at wholesale prices.