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House Fire Clean up.

When a disaster like a fire happens you may not know what to do next. Who do I call, where do we go, or what to do now may be some of the thoughts running through your head. Homeowners and business owners may be in shock from the initial devastation.  It is important to try and follow the proper steps to achieve a complete fire restoration.  Service providers that are associated with the Institute will have the following distinctions:  current training, safety and health certifications, vast amounts of experience in restoration projects and the proper licenses and insurance information. 

 The first step in the process is to clean up as much of the existing area as possible. If the area is not immediately cleaned, soot residue and permanent damage can be left behind.  If the homeowner or business owner does the initial cleaning, it is important to follow these steps. When cleaning, always use dust masks and open the area for proper ventilation.  Clean from the ceilings to the floors and vacuum all floors and upholstery.  Wash any items that are able to be laundered.  Clean the outside with a pressure washer if available. 

 If immediate clean-up is not done, it can lead to devastating effects.  Within minutes of fire and smoke damage, appliances and many items will discolor to a yellow hue.  After a few hours, acid will stain bathrooms and many other areas of the home or business.  Within days, walls will discolor permanently and items will begin to rust due to the acid residue.   Finally, after weeks the cost of clean-up will become substantially more expensive. The building and furnishings can be permanently damaged by the acid left behind.  Soot residue will be layered throughout the home or business.  For these reasons, it is vital to contact a professional associated with the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification Such as PRS of Tampa Bay to utilize fire restoration techniques in an effort to return the home or business to a pre-loss state. 

Here are some good fire safety tips to prevent future house fires.

  • ·         Stay at least three feet away from heating equipment, such as the furnace, fireplace, wood stove or space heater.
  • ·         Have a three foot “kid-free zone” around open fires
  • ·         Never use your oven to heat your home.
  • ·         Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters, and central heating equipment according to local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
  • ·         Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional as dust, creosote and even small animals tend to block flues.
  • ·         Turn off portable heaters when leaving the room and before going to bed.
  • ·         Use the fuel specified by the manufacturer fir fuel burning space heaters.
  • ·         Make sure wood fire places have a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. These screens also help keep small children a safe distance away.
  • ·         When cleaning your fireplace, make sure the ashes are cool before disposing them into a metal container a safe distance away from your home.
  • ·         As always test your smoke alarms every month. 

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