In many scenarios, fire restoration services can be hazardous and unpredictable. According to the Insurance Information Institute, fire damage caused over $12 billion in property damage in 2020. To stay safe, everyone should understand the risks involved in reopening a home or business after fire damage. That way, you can protect yourself and others from any potential dangers that may arise. Here are some tips on how professionals and spectators can stay safe during fire restoration services.
1. Know the Risks
First and foremost, it’s important to know the potential risks. Fires can cause large amounts of damage and leave behind hazardous substances such as smoke, soot, and asbestos. These can be dangerous if not handled properly, so professionals must always wear protective gear when handling them or occupying a space from which they must be removed. Additionally, the fire may have weakened the structure or foundation of the building and could put it at risk for collapse. If you’re on-site, make sure they’re checking for structural damage before entering any affected area.
2. Check the Air Quality
Once they’ve determined the structure is safe, the team will check the air quality inside. They do this because there could be pollutants such as smoke and ash hanging in the air. To stay safe, everyone is recommended to use a respirator or another form of breathing protection when entering an area that may have been affected by the fire or that smoke may have traveled to. Using air purifiers can also help reduce the levels of pollutants in the air. The most efficient way to stay safe is to hire professionals who can properly assess the air quality.
3. Wear Protective Gear
Apart from checking the air quality, it’s important to wear protective gear when handling any area with fire restoration. This includes gloves, goggles, and masks. These will help protect you from any particles that could be in the air or on surfaces that were affected by the fire. In addition, wear sturdy shoes and long-sleeved clothing to protect yourself from any hazardous materials.
4. Check For Signs of Electricity
Fire restoration often requires working with electrical systems. Before attempting any repairs, checking for signs of electricity in the area can reduce the risk of injury. If any electrical wires have been damaged by the fire, contact a professional electrician to inspect them before proceeding. Never attempt to repair any electrical systems without the help of a qualified individual.
5. Have a Fire Extinguisher Ready
As a precaution, always keep a fire extinguisher nearby during the restoration process. If a spark or flame ignites, it may fall upon the nearest individual to use the extinguisher to put it out. Of course, it’s always recommended that professionals perform these actions. If possible, designate a fire-safety professional in the area who can take over in the case of an emergency. This way, you can stay safe and make sure you can quickly extinguish any flames that appear. It’s ideal to keep a grade-A fire extinguisher nearby for quick response in case of an emergency. This goes for both the restoration process and the operations at your home or business after restoration is complete.
4. Follow the Proper Protocol
When it comes to fire restoration, it’s essential to follow the proper protocol. Make sure you understand the safety procedures that need to be taken and follow them to the letter. These procedures include checking for structural damage, using proper ventilation and air filtration systems, and wearing protective gear. Additionally, make sure you have the correct type of fire extinguisher on hand for anyone in the vicinity.
5. Contact Trusted Professionals
It’s important to contact professionals for all the fire restoration services you need. Professional contractors have experience in restoring buildings and know the proper protocols for doing so safely. They’ll be able to advise you on the right course of action and can provide any necessary safety equipment to complete the job with as little risk of additional damage or injury as possible.
6. Be Cautious
Most importantly, be cautious while navigating a fire restoration project. Fires can cause serious damage and even life-threatening hazards, so it’s important to be extra vigilant. Don’t attempt any work you haven’t been rigorously trained to complete, and always follow the instructions of the professionals you’ve hired in both the short- and long-term.
7. Stay Calm
Do your best to stay calm during the fire restoration process. Many potential hazards could arise, so it’s easy to worry. If you feel overwhelmed or unsafe at any time, remove yourself from the situation and trust that the professionals you’ve contacted will perform their jobs in a high-quality fashion.
No matter the severity of the damage, following these tips will help you stay safe during fire restoration services, no matter how long the process takes. Everyone should understand the risks and take the necessary steps to protect themselves. By understanding the potential dangers and taking precautionary measures, you can ensure that your safety is not compromised. Contact UCF Restoration today to get started with our services.