What Not To Do After Fire Damage
Most of us know the ‘stop, drop, and roll drill for fire protection. It is also common knowledge to have fire alarms and smoke detectors in our homes. In general, the public is pretty well informed on what to do if a fire occurs. But knowing what NOT to do is just as important as knowing what to do. Here are things you should never do following a house fire.
- Do not attempt to put out the fire on your own. Even small fires can escalate very quickly, and if the flames are not responding to your efforts then do not waste any more time. The most important thing following a house fire is to get everyone out safely. Every second matters, so your time is much better spent attempting to get everyone out of the home safely.
- Do not open doors without checking them first. When escaping from a burning home, doors can actually act as barriers from the flames. If you are in a room that is not currently on fire, opening a door that has flames directly behind it will cause those flames to rush and spread to you. Before opening any doors, feel the handle for heat. If it is hot to the touch, do not open it and escape through an alternate route. Remember to stay low to the floor if there is smoke in the air. Breathing in smoke can cause damage to the brain and lungs. Remember, smoke will kill you sooner than the fire will.
- Do not enter your home, under any circumstances. Fires cause structural damage, and until it is deemed safe by a professional you should not enter. When the integrity of your home is compromised, entry is unsafe. Even if it doesn’t look like there is extensive damage, you need to have it inspected before entering. Lingering smoke in the air, electrical circuit malfunction, and gas leaks are all common risks following a fire. To ensure your safety, get out and stay out.
- Do not try to clean up after a fire on your own. You should not try to wipe away smoke and soot damage from surfaces without the proper protective gear or cleaning materials. The residue left behind after a fire contains harmful toxins that can cause serious irritation to your eyes, nose, throat, and skin. By products left behind are extremely dangerous to your health, and without the proper protective equipment and cleaning solutions you risk spreading those byproducts around. Because soot is difficult to remove, you also risk causing further fire damage by scratching surfaces and pushing soot deeper into materials.
Safety comes first when dealing with fire damage response and restoration. Knowing what to do, and knowing what not to do can help keep you and your family safe, and increases the chances of a successful fire damage restoration. This is where the fire damage experts at ICC come in. We understand the need for you to feel safe and secure in your home, and when that has been compromised by a fire, we are here to help. We will be there for you at every step of the fire damage restoration process, and can safely and efficiently restore your home.