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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Fire Damage Blog Posts

Items To Throw Away After a Fire

10/18/2021 (Permalink)

Home destroyed after a fire. Some items, after a fire in your Clearfield, UT home, should be thrown away.

When your home in Clearfield, UT, catches fire, you may have to replace a lot of things. Important documents may be destroyed, and it may be less expensive to replace certain textiles rather than pay to have them cleaned. Fire restoration experts can help you determine which items are salvageable. There are some items, however, that you must always throw away after they are exposed to a house fire.

Items To Throw Away

Food Damaged by High Heat

It makes sense that perishable food that clearly smells like smoke or is packaged in a porous container such as cardboard would need to be thrown away after a fire. Even items that look ok on the surface may need to be tossed in the trash, too, though. If your pantry and refrigerator were exposed to high heat, you need to throw out everything in them:

  • Canned foods
  • Dry goods
  • Spices
  • Oils
  • Condiments

While it is certainly disheartening to have to get rid of so much food, it is better to waste it by throwing it in the trash than to eat it and make yourself sick. Food that is exposed to the conditions of a house fire often starts to grow bacteria and spoil, even if its packaging still looks intact. To be on the safe side, toss it out and rebuild your pantry stash.

Medicine Exposed to Flames

The chemical composition of medication is uniquely formulated to produce specific health benefits. A fire changes all of that. If your medication was close enough to the fire for the packaging to melt, you definitely need to get rid of it. It is no longer safe to take.

In fact, unless the fire in your home was in a very small, contained area, you can't guarantee that the room where your medication is stored remained cool enough to keep it safe. It's best to throw away all pills and other drugs in the house, even if they don't show signs of burning or smoke damage.

Cosmetics Stored Near Affected Area

The same rules apply to your cosmetics and toiletries. Regardless of what the expiration date on the container says, if they were exposed to the heat of the fire in any way, you should consider them collateral fire damage and toss them out.

If the fire was near the bathroom or vanity where your cosmetics are stored, they have probably been ruined. Take pictures and make a list of all the items as you pitch them into the trash so that you know what you need to replace. This may be helpful information when you are filing your insurance claim. Depending on your policy, you may be compensated for the cost to replace them.

A house fire can be devastating in many ways. Some of your belongings may be able to be saved, but that doesn't apply to everything. Perishable items such as food, medicine, and cosmetics are sensitive to the heat produced in a house fire. You must throw away anything that could have been chemically altered by the presence of fire and replace it with something new.

Home Fire Safety Tips

8/19/2021 (Permalink)

A person putting out a fire. If you can't control the fire with a fire extinguisher in your home in Clearfield, UT, call professionals to avoid further damages.

Every homeowner likes to believe that his or her house is safe from fires. A fire in your home in Clearfield, UT, can break out much more easily and quickly than you think, though. The smallest error, such as leaving a candle burning too long or forgetting a burner on the stove is on, can ignite a larger flame in no time. When this happens, you should have the security of knowing that every family member knows the proper procedure for handling it. This starts by teaching everyone how to use a fire extinguisher.

The PASS Method

The moment an emergency happens is an unfortunate time to discover that you don't know how to address it. It doesn't do you any good to have a fire extinguisher near your kitchen if you don't know how to use it. Fortunately, all it takes is following an easy four-step process:

Pull - Take the pinout of the top of the extinguisher to unlock it and ready it for use.
Aim - Point the nozzle at the base of the fire.
Squeeze - Apply pressure on the handle to release the agent inside the extinguisher.
Sweep - Slowly but steadily move the stream from the nozzle back and forth along the base of the fire.

If done correctly, the PASS method should put out most small fires that occur in your home. If the flames still persist after you have emptied the canister of the fire extinguisher, don't reach for another one to try again. It's time to let the professionals take over. Call 911 and evacuate the house.

The Right Extinguisher

Not all fires are the same, so it makes sense that different extinguishers would need to hold different types of agents. When you are choosing the right fire safety equipment for your home, look at the ratings. An "A" rating means it is most useful for trash, paper, and wood fires. A "B" rating means that it contains an agent that works best on flammable liquids. A "C" rating is what you need for areas where electrical fires are possible. According to fire damage mitigation experts, the best extinguisher to fight a kitchen fire will have at least a "B-C" rating, if not all three.

The Best Prevention

One of the goals of fire safety is to prevent as much fire damage to your home as possible. Of course, the best prevention is to avoid circumstances that cause the fire in the first place. Since the kitchen is one of the most common places where home fires occur, it's imperative that everyone who uses the kitchen understands basic safety measures. For example, remember to turn the oven and stove off when you're not using them. Don't keep items on top of the stove that are likely to ignite. Clean up oil and grease messes as soon as they occur.

Having a fire extinguisher handy in every area of your home is an essential part of any solid fire safety plan. If you can't prevent a fire altogether, knowing how to handle it quickly and efficiently is the next best option.

4 Tips for Taking Care of Your Home’s Smoke Alarms

5/25/2021 (Permalink)

Image of a person pointing at a smoke detector. Take care of your home's smoke detector.

Often, daily life gets in the way of remembering everything that comes with managing a home. These routine tasks must include smoke alarm care. Keeping your units functioning properly could one day mean the difference between incurring only minimal fire damage and losing everything. Therefore, it's vital to inspect and maintain them regularly. Consider these tips for taking care of a smoke detector.

Tips for Taking Care of a Smoke Detector

1. Maintaining the System

Dust or vacuum your alarms regularly to free the unit of dust and other contaminants. These particles can interfere with the alarm's detection ability.

2. Testing the Units

Manufacturers of all types of smoke alarms recommend testing them at least once each month to ensure they're functioning correctly. You can try them by pressing the test button on each unit. You can go a step further and test them by introducing a small amount of smoke near them.

3. Replacing the Batteries

A smoke detector that runs on a nine-volt battery should have the battery replaced at least once a year. A smoke alarm that utilizes a "long-life" lithium battery doesn't have the capability of replacing the battery. Therefore, the unit itself must be replaced (consult the manufacturer's instructions). An alarm that's hardwired into the home's electrical system has a battery backup. You should replace the backup battery at least once a year.

4. Replacing the Units

Whatever type of smoke detectors you have in your home in Clearfield, UT, fire damage experts recommend replacing the units themselves every 10 years from the manufacture date. You can find this date on the back of the device.

When you're checking off the list of routine home tasks, don't forget smoke alarm maintenance. Taking these proactive steps could prove to be one of the most important jobs you perform if the worst happens. Take care of your alarm system to ensure the welfare of your family and home.

How To Restore Your Business After a Fire

2/22/2021 (Permalink)

Image of a room and staircase damaged with soot and fire. Fire Damage in Clearfield, UT.

Coping with the aftermath of a fire on your commercial property may feel overwhelming at first. Not only do you have to deal with the destruction caused by the fire itself, there might also be smoke damage, water damage and troublesome soot left behind. Fortunately, things are not always as bad as they seem, and restoration is often possible. Here are a few steps to getting your business up and running again after a fire.  

3 Steps to Restore Your Business After a Fire.

 1. Evaluate the Damage

The first step is to develop a plan of action for the repairs. Calling a commercial fire restoration expert is the best way to ensure that any fire damage, smoke damage or water damage is properly attended to. Trained professionals know what to look for and how to handle many common issues that occur after a fire. In addition to crafting a cleanup plan, they will take measures to prevent future damage. This includes boarding up destroyed windows and doors, as well as covering up holes in the siding or roof.

2. Water Removal

Oftentimes fire hoses leave excess water in the building. Water removal should be done promptly in order to prevent mold growth or more severe structural degradation. Restoration specialists begin by eliminating any standing water. Next, they use a combination of fans, dehumidifiers and air movers to fully dry out the space.

3. Clearing Smoke and Soot

Dealing with soot damage and lingering smoke is one of the most important parts of fire cleanup. Soot and smoke may penetrate into linens, carpets, furniture and other products. They can even damage paint or drywall. Open windows to ventilate the area as well as possible, and use gloves to remove any burned debris. Smoke cleaning and soot removal is best completed with professional help. A restoration company will utilize specialized techniques and tools to remove odor and residue.

Whether you need assistance with smoke damage, water removal or cleaning and restoration, certified fire damage specialists in Clearfield, UT, are never more than a phone call away. Time is of the essence when restoring your business after a fire, so choose the pros who are Faster to Any Size Disaster.