Chicago Restoration Tips from ServiceMaster Restoration by Simons
The firefighters are winding the hoses and packing up their equipment. The fire damage is done. What do you do next?
It’s time for the fire and smoke damage cleanup and fire restoration to begin.
First, find out if it’s safe to re-enter the building. The fire department or fire marshal should be able to tell you. Next, remove any necessities and valuables from the house or business if it cannot be secured or inhabited. That includes any legal documents and receipts or lists of property that you may have made, as well as contracts, passports, bank books, birth certificates, diplomas, etc. You are responsible for securing the property. If possible pack a bag with clothing, toiletries, medications, etc., to sustain you for a few days. After that, contact your insurance agent as soon as possible. You will also need to contact your mortgage company if you don’t own the deed to the property.
Next, to limit damage from smoke odors and residue, call ServiceMaster Restoration by Simons. Here’s why:
You’ve probably got fire and smoke damage, but also water damage from fire hoses or chemical residue if fire extinguishers were used. It’s important to keep these factors from causing further damage by removing as much smoke and moisture as soon as you can.
We usually arrive within 2-4 hours. Before we arrive on the scene, start moving any remaining smoke outside and begin the drying process of the interior and salvageable contents. That means renting and deploying large fans. They can usually be obtained from a rental outlet, home or hardware store. The fire department may have already used exhaust fans, but some smoke and odors may remain.
Preliminary fire damage cleanup
If you decide to clear out your own debris, you may want to rent a dumpster for the purpose. Make sure you wear clothes that protect you and your skin, as well as an appropriate face mask to protect from inhaled fumes or particles. Don’t forget work boots. There may be corrosive chemicals on the floor, sharp materials, glass shards, or slippery surfaces. It’s best not to work alone in case of mishaps.
Beware of perishables
Get rid of anything that is perishable and may have been contaminated by fire, smoke, or fumes. To be safe, that may include everything in the refrigerator and cupboards. Canned or glass sealed foods can be spoiled if the heat has reached them. Look for bulges or cracks in cans or lids. If a freezer has been without power for more than a few hours or if it’s clearly suffered damage, everything in it may be suspect. If you have any doubt about food after a fire, don’t risk it—just get rid of it. One category people don’t always think of is medicines, or crèmes or other cosmetics such as lipstick. Even if these weren’t directly damaged by flame, fumes or heat could have contaminated them or altered their chemical formula, making them ineffective or toxic.
If anyone in your family or business is sensitive to chemicals or has other allergies, be aware that there are now different airborne chemicals and particles in the building than there were before the fire.
These are just some of the basic things to remember about fire restoration. There’s one other: Let the pros do it for you. Call ServiceMaster Restoration by Simons for a fast response and quality fire and smoke damage restoration in Chicago. We have helped thousands of families and businesses with fire damage repair services. Our professional and courteous technicians can help you too. We are on call 24/7/365. Call us today.