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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

What Are Possible Safety Hazards Needing Monitoring and Implementation of Effective Controls by Professional Fire Damage Recovery Responders?

10/27/2020 (Permalink)

yellow sign that says "Safety first" in black Safety is our first priority. Contact SERVPRO today for fire damage remediation services.

A Household Blaze Is Not Merely a Messy Inconvenience

Significant Structural, Safety, and Health Risks Need Assessment and Control by SERVPRO's Trained and Certified Experts to Protect Olathe Residents and Their Property from the Consequences of Fire Damage.

Olathe residents who suffer through the fear and destruction of a home fire need to obtain professional assurance their house's structure is sound before addressing mitigation and remediation of the damage. A household fire's consequences can be wide-ranging, involving much more than a simple cleanup of soot. In particular, safety hazards can present in many different ways because of the damage done by heat, flames, and smoke. Added concerns mount as the effects of firefighting chemicals and water complicate the scene and exacerbate the level and extent of damage done to building materials and contents.

What Types of Safety Risks Threaten Both the Structure and the Inhabitants of Your Fire-Damaged Dwelling?

When the first responders wind up their efforts to knock down the blaze in your Olathe home, fire damage recovery requires swift assessment by highly-trained professionals. Although our crews are certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) and veterans of many fire damage site restoration jobs, we must take the time to inspect your home for specific safety hazards before working as every building is unique and poses different risks. 

  • Water Hazards

The quantity of firefighting water can be considerable and exposes your family and our crew members to: 

    • Enhanced electrical conduction, including shock and even electrocution risks
    • Contaminants from fire extinguisher chemicals, broken utility lines, and waste pipes, as well as fire residues suspended in the fluids
    • The threat of structural collapse if water collects in building cavities and over ceilings
  • Diminished Air-Quality 

As a fire burns through your home, the wood, rubber, plastics, textiles, food, paper, and other materials making up the structure and contents are the fuels. As they burn, dozens of chemical reactions occur, sending toxic and often carcinogenic residues into the air.

  • Charring and Burn-Through Hazards

Heat and flames can damage and weaken nearly every building material, including walls, floors, ceilings, stairs, and wooden or metal framing.

  • Fire Residue Hazards

The incompletely combusted carbon-based fire fuel mixes with the vapors and gases created by the blaze. Tiny particles of carbon color the smoke and eventually come to rest on surfaces throughout your home. This "soot" is corrosive and toxic, immediately causing deterioration of building materials and can cause health effects.

How Does SERVPRO Implement Safety Hazard Controls to Protect Occupants and Workers During Fire Damage Recovery?

  • Water Mitigation and Remediation Plus Structural Drying

Ridding the structure of the water is needed after we secure the scene. Removing water is a hybrid task -- it is a control and mitigation before it transforms into remediation. Our technicians:

    • Arrange for power shut off
    • Arrange for securing of weakened structures with supports or other strategies so heavy equipment can enter
    • Commence water removal with submersible pumps (gas-powered -- perfect when the power is off)
    • Move to truck-mounted extractors when water is below two inches deep (using SERVPRO onboard generators for power)
    • Brooms, squeegees, and portable extractors clean up the residual water
    • All firefighting water is by definition contaminated -- we contain and dispose of it following local regulations
    • Drying strategies reduce moisture content in affected structural components to prevent continuing deterioration and secondary damage such as mold damage
  • Cleaning Air and Protecting Workers and Occupants

To reduce the amount of dangerous particulates in the air and allow technicians to work even with low air quality we: 

    • Provide personal protective equipment (PPE) for SERVPRO managers and technicians and require use
    • Exclude occupants from smoke and residue-filled areas
    • Set up containment partitions with 1.6 mil polyethylene and negative pressure air scrubbers and limit work to those spaces -- moving the protective "wrap" as other areas are cleaned
  • Stabilizing and Removing Charred Structural Components

If heat and flames diminish the safety of some building materials and supports, we tape off those areas and consider arranging for a structural engineer to consult about the overall integrity of the house. SERVPRO crews remove and bag loose debris and any structures removed through planned demolition.

  • Cleanup of Fire Residues

Once the water and debris are cleared, and we ensure the structure's stability, SERVPRO Fire and Smoke Restoration Technicians (FSRT) begin evaluating the various soot deposits and affected surfaces throughout the home. Our crews match proprietary cleaners, tools, and techniques most likely to remove soot -- wet, dry, or protein-based -- from a wide range of surfaces and contents. Careful and effective removal steadily reduces the toxic load inside your home, eventually cleaning it to the degree needed for safe habitation, "Like it never even happened."

Have confidence that the team at SERVPRO of Olathe / Lenexa stands ready to evaluate, mitigate, and remediate structural damage and health risks after fire damage to your home. Call us day or night at (913) 782-4693 for prompt and professional services.

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