Fire Damage: Things to Do Before Professionals Reach

Fire Damage: Things to Do Before Professionals Reach

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Being stuck in fire can be one of the most horrifying experiences one can ever go through. And no matter how many fire drills you have undergone, there is a possibility that when it actually happens, you might go completely numb as to what to do next! This is because you are in a state of shock and can’t believe that a fire has broken out in your house.

During such times, instead of panicking, you should try to be calm and think through things clearly about the immediate next steps. It is quite obvious that you will immediately call 911 or the fire department. But by the time professional help arrives, things can get life threatening. So here’s what you should do.

Let everyone know

When you are stuck in your house, the only way to ask for help is to shout and alert the neighbours. This way, they might contact the fire authorities before you do and render help any which way that they can. It is always recommended that you have a fire escape route figured out. By doing so, you will be able to get out of the house faster without any hassle.

Don’t be a fire expert

The last thing you want to do when a fire breaks out is to check the ‘when’ ‘where’ and ‘how’ of the fire. There have been instances of people losing their lives because they tried to investigate the fire resource and what caused it. These things can be taken care of during the later stages. So just focus on getting out of the house and planning your escape.

Keep away from smoke

The smoke emitted during fire can prove to be toxic and can suffocate you. Make sure you crawl on the floor as the air is purer near floors. By lying down, you will be able to save your face and upper body from the flames that burst upwards. Once you succeed in reaching the door, put your hand on it and check whether the fire hasn’t spread on the other side. If not, your way is clear. When you go on the other side of the door, you must close it so that the fire doesn’t get any oxygen to spread further.

Control the flames

While escaping, choose to roll on the floor as it will prevent the flames from spreading further. Don’t panic and run around as it can be dangerous for you and spread the fire even further. If you have huge blankets or heavy clothes, try to cover the flames with them as they will cease the supply of oxygen.

Planning an escape through window

This kind of escape is not usually recommended. Jumping out of windows has led to serious injuries and accidents. However, if the fire has spread severely and you don’t have a choice, throw pillows and beddings on the ground from the window before you jump. Families with children should ensure that they lower the children as much as possible before they jump.

Once you are out, call the fire department and provide them with your address and details about the intensity of the fire. This information has to be given for the professionals to know where to reach you and what equipment to carry.

As soon as the fire dies down, get in touch with your nearest fire damage restoration service providers. This is because the water used to cease the fire can cause structural damage and lead to mold growth. Ashes from smoke get imbibed in your furniture, carpets, drywall, etc. The earlier you call a restoration service, the lesser the chance of your property ruining further. It is important to know that an emergency situation like this has to be dealt professionally. Keep safe!

Crucial Steps to Take Before and After Hurricane Strikes

Crucial Steps to Take Before and After Hurricane Strikes

“Hurricane season brings a humbling reminder that, despite our technologies, most of nature remains unpredictable” quotes Diane Ackerman, one of the best American poets and naturalists. We all are aware that nature is quite volatile and predictions are just predictions. Hence, one must have plans to save oneself from the wrath of nature. If you are not prepared when hurricane strikes, it can lead to irreplaceable loss of life.

Hurricane-Strikes-Before-and-After

Hurricane can cause severe damage to the property depending upon its intensity. It also comes along with a lot of floods and rains. The houses affected by hurricane often require help from water damage restoration professionals after its effect dies down. But before it strikes, you can take certain steps to prevent your property and surroundings. Take a look at some of them.

Secure your property

Storm shutters are a good investment for hurricane prone areas. They also protect your windows from breaking. Don’t waste your time sticking tapes around windows as they won’t be enough to protect them from breaking. You can board up your windows with 5/8” marine plywood which can be made by you or bought from outside.

Prevent the roof structure

Roof inspection and prevention might take a few hours of your time. If you are petrified of heights, make sure you hire a professional. Once you are up on your roof, search for damaged or curled roof tiles. Inspect the edges of the roof because that’s where the winds enter from and lead the other roof shingles to loosen. You can also set up robust straps around your roof structure to counterbalance the hurricane effect.

Plan an evacuation

People who reside along sea coasts are used to evacuation due to hurricanes every year. So they are well-aware of the steps to take during evacuation. If you are not used to evacuations, keep the track of all the information provided by the government authorities through media. You can also inquire with the local authorities about evacuation maps and routes.

Keep disaster supply kits handy

Start preparing your disaster supply kit. It must contain the following items:

  1. Flashlights with extra bulbs
  2. Batteries
  3. First Aid Kit
  4. Rain Gear
  5. A pair of scissors
  6. Blankets
  7. Car Openers
  8. Gloves
  9. Bottled Water
  10. Canned food and
  11. Bottled juice

Arrange for transportation

A couple of days before hurricane strikes, you should check the gas levels in your car and keep its tank filled with gas. This is because the gas stations mostly remain closed during emergencies. Speak to your neighbours and friends to make transportation arrangements if you do not have a car. During extreme floods, owning a boat and securing it near your house can also help.

Before you leave

At the time of leaving, make sure you are carrying your necessities and emergency kits. Wear hurricane protective attire which includes long-sleeve shirt, cap and long pants. Check if all the electrical equipment like radio, tv, microwave, fridge etc are unplugged. Stay with your family and let the people around you know about where you are going. If you are scared to venture out, stay in a lower level room which is safe to reside in.

People residing in the area close to where hurricane has stricken might suffer due to the damage caused by flooding. During such times, they can approach hurricane damage repair professionals. The above steps will ensure your safety when the hurricane hits. Keep safe!

5 Ways Water Can Damage Your House

5 Ways Water Can Damage Your House

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Water is considered as a magical resource which is necessary for the survival of everything around. But sometimes, it can be destructive to a great extent. Under unfavourable circumstances, it can even damage the foundation of your house. So it becomes necessary to keep a check and make necessary amendments on time to stop further damage that can permanently affect your home. In this blog, we have discussed the 5 most common ways water can damage your house. Make sure your home is safe from all of these. And if in spite of all your precautions your house does get managed by flooding or other ways of water looging, get in touch with water damage restoration professionals in your area.

Water leakage

Water leakage is one the most common causes of damage to our houses. It usually occurs in the form of leakage from defective joint fittings in water pipe lines, sanitary fitments or drainage pipes. Imagine a good house that has a concealed pipeline, water will seep through the walls, making it damp, cold and prone to fungal growth on the walls or susceptible places. It is very difficult to trace the leakage and repair work but you need to be alert as these can cause harm to you through your immediate environment.

Rains

Uncontrolled rains can cause the maximum damage to your homes. There are different outlets through which rain water might seep in into the house including your basement walls, doors and windows, roof leaks, and others. If you live in a place which often witnesses abundance of rains, make sure your windows (when closed) do not allow water to seep in, do not keep valuables and electronic equipments in the basement, and follow other preventive measures to be safe. If for some reason your house is affected, immediately call expert services to restore your house and normal life.

Soil quality and saturation

Soil quality on which the house is built determines the stability of the house. A porous soil with granite and sand does not retain water. So when a good compaction is done a solid foundation is laid. If your house is built on clayey soil, water saturation can cause major damages to your house through displacement and distortion of wet soil especially in the rainy season.

Washing Machines & Dishwashers

Carelessness with electrical instruments may become huge risk factors especially when they have something to do with water. Malfunctioning machines or electrical gadgets like geysers becoming wet due to leakages may lead to short circuits and house fires that have the potential to cause disastrous damage to your homes. You should also keep a check on where the water is going from your dishwashers and washing machines. Proper handling of water related electrical devices is mandatory to ensure safety of your home and family members.

Clogged toilets

Choked toilets and sanitary outlets can be a reason why your walls are getting soggy and prone to fungus. Overflowing of toilets either inside or outside the house is detrimental to your overall health and hygiene. House interiors may suffer permanent damage due to wet surface and at the same time make it difficult to survive there because of the stinking and detrimental hygiene conditions for a long time. If you notice any such indications at your home contact experts and get the renovations done before it gets worse.

Tips For Filing Insurance Claim After a House Fire

Tips For Filing Insurance Claim After a House Fire

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Losing your home or belongings to a fire is upsetting and distressing to levels unfathomable. But still, you need to move on with life and get settled with things as early as possible. Filing an Insurance claim is one of the first thing you need to do after a house fire. You may also work with a professional fire damage restoration service provider who will not only help you in restoration and cleanup but will also help you with filing your insurance claim.

It is a well known fact that insurance companies would follow their terms and conditions meticulously just to find a loophole in your claim so that they don’t have to pay up. To avoid such situation, you need to be completely well versed with the insurance claim procedure and all the terms and conditions of your policy well in advance so that when the need actually arises (unfortunately) you are well prepared and don’t do anything that may jeopardise your claim approval chances.

Here are some tips which will come handy to you, when required.

File for an advance against your final insurance claim

If you have to abandon your home under unavoidable circumstances, you can file for an advance from your insurance company to buy essentials you might not have been able to pack up while evacuating. Keep a check on your expenses and make sure you only spend on necessities.

File your claim at the earliest

File your claim as early as possible, it gets easier on both ends then. Keep a track of your communications with the insurance company and keep a copy of all required documents. Include all important required to file your claim to quicken the process.

Mitigate further damage

The insurance company expects you to take good care of your belongings or they can just deny compensation on the grounds of carelessness. Mitigate the damage to the best way possible and protect your belongings from further damage to ensure them that you aren’t at fault.

Make a list and don’t throw away thing just yet

Start making a list of things you’ve lost in the fire. You will require every home member’s output and this and can miss out on something, so its better you keep it prepared beforehand.  Also, don’t throw away the damaged goods, the insurance agent might deny to compensate if you just throw them away.

Don’t close it immediately

Last but one of the most important points to take care of. Your insurance company will try to close your case as soon as possible. Don’t fall into the trap. House fire is a big thing and amidst the chaos you might just forget mentioning or claiming for some important thing damaged in the fire. So, do not close your claim just yet. To make sure, read and sign every document by the company very carefully. They aren’t going to be very open about it.

Tips for Preventing Fire Damage in Your Home and Office

Tips for Preventing Fire Damage in Your Home and Office

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Fire in your home or office can be life threatening aside from the fact that it causes damage to your property. So if you ever have to bear the brunt of fire, you should always contact fire damage restoration service providers in your area.

However prevention is always better than cure. Something like a fire accident is mostly because of the lack of proper precautionary measures. Be it your home or office, you remain vulnerable to fire accidents. Though you cannot always control if there is a fire at the site, you can always take some precautionary measures to prevent fire damage and to control the fire to spread further. Here are some tips you should consider to prevent your home or office from getting damaged in fire.

Install smoke detectors

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It’s almost a rule now and you should abide by it to ensure your own safety. Install smoke detectors at multiple places at your home and office to be certain that if for any reason a fire is ignited, you immediately get informed by the alarm. Early detection can help you prevent major fire accidents.

Ensure electrical safety

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A significant number of home and office fires are caused due to electrical faults. For maximum safety, employ a well maintained electrical system. Overloading of electrical outlets is a ‘No’. Equipment like coffeemakers, photocopy machines, computers, etc. should only be sourced from approved suppliers. Heat generating equipments should be kept away from goods that might catch fire easily.

Fire Extinguishers

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Smoke detectors just help you know that there’s fire in the building. You need to find the quickest rescue after that. Calling fire personnel take time and might not be needed if you already have fire extinguishers installed which can help you put off the fire before it spreads.

Keep a check on your storage habits

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Install smoke detectors in your storage rooms where paper and other easily flammable items are stored. Don’t stack too many bundles of paper together as it can spread the fire easily. If you can, avoid keeping papers, files and folders as much as you can be it your office or home. Keep a digital record of all your papers and files and not only make more space but you keep your property less vulnerable to fire.

Escape plans

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Draw escape plans with the help of experts and inform all your house/office mates about the same. Emergency exits should be highlighted and the plan should be pasted on each floor to make sure everybody has access to it. Organize a small talk in your office and teach everyone how to escape in case of any fire. Using fire extinguishers should also be known by all.

5 Ways To Prevent Damage from Flooding

5 Ways To Prevent Damage from Flooding

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Flooding is more common than you may want to accept and most areas near water bodies face the danger of flooding. If you ever face the prospect of your property getting flooded with water, the first thing you should do after the water recedes is to contact your local water damage restoration experts.

But there are quite a few things you can do before a flood occurs. Though it’s difficult and almost impossible to predict all natural calamities, flood is something you can prepare for beforehand. If your area is counted among the flood prone areas, you should always be ready to protect yourself when the need arises. You can’t control floods, but you can minimize the damage from floods. Here we will talk about 5 ways which can help you prevent damage from flooding.

Safeguard all electrical appliances

Your electrical appliances are most prone to damage by flood water. You should take special care of the electrical system of your house if you reside in a flood prone area. Raise the switches, sockets, and wiring at a safe distance from the expected flood level of your area. In case of flood warnings, move all your electrical appliances from the basement and switch off the main current supplier till it’s safe to use it again.

Manage outdoor equipments

Outdoor equipments like air conditioning units, generators, and fuel tanks should be raised above the expected water level. Never keep them on the ground under any circumstances. Fuel tanks can break up and mix up with the flood water which can cause scores of further troubles.

Save all important numbers

Remember that you are stuck in a calamity; you might need outside forces to help you out in worst conditions. Keep all important numbers handy. From radio station to rescue team, keep contact numbers of all for emergency situations. Family and friends should also be in touch to help if the need arises.

Last minute measures

If it’s about time you sense it would be too late to do anything after that, start with the last minute measures. Move the left out things to upper level places or to top floors, remove carpets, switch off electrical appliances, keep a stock of drinking water, etc. Don’t use flood water for any activity be it washing, cleaning, or bathing as it is full of impurities.

Make an escape plan

Be prepared for the worst of cases. If you think it’s no more safe to be there, evacuate immediately. Don’t risk your family’s lives over saving other things. Just lock your home properly and do the most to move your belongings to the highest place possible. You can carry important documents along, and don’t forget to keep emergency lights and kits with you as you might need them.

Even after all the precautions, you can’t help the water flooding your home. You might have moved most of your belongings but even the walls of your house can get damaged because of the flood. Don’t take it lightly and moreover don’t postpone the restoration. It can cause some serious health hazards. To keep your family and home safe from these agents, we recommended you to hire professionals for your property restoration. Being experts they can help you much more than anyone else and delaying it can further worsen your problems.

What To Do & What Not To Do After Flood Damage

What To Do & What Not To Do After Flood Damage

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No doubt water is a boon and a life saving resource. But when nature goes wild, it can transform a blessing to curse. Flood is something you can’t control and it is bound to cause damage to a great extent. Your premises are the most affected during and after a flood. After the damage is done, you need to be careful with your next steps to ensure safety and quick restoration. Here’s a compact guide to help you on what to do and what not to do after flood damage.

What to do?

  • Turn the main electricity supply off. Electricity and water make a dangerous combination. To avoid any accidents, you should keep it disconnected till it’s safe.
  • Remove electronics and other important things from the basement or low lying areas. Shift small movable items upstairs. In case of heavy electronic appliances, you can raise them up with the help of bricks.
  • Keep enough supply of bottled drinking water.
  • Switch off electricity, gas, and water connections if you are moving out. Make sure to lock everything up.
  • If your premise is insured, take photographs as evidence for the insurance claim. Make a backup, if possible. You can lose the first copy in the running around and emergency like situation.
  • Open all doors and windows if the rain has stopped. It will help to dry out the area and to allow fresh air in.
  • If your house is too much damaged to clean it up yourself, hire water & flood damage restoration services before causing further damage to your house and belongings. Experts can control the situation better than you can.

What not to do?

  • Don’t panic. There’s a lot to do before the situation get’s normal. If you panic, things might go wrong and cause further inconvenience.
  • Don’t leave your furniture on wet carpets or it will damage the furniture. Put something between the carpet and the furniture base that acts as a shield.
  • Don’t use fans or vacuum cleaners to dry out the water.
  • Don’t use your regular cleaning products. Flood water brings many contaminated germs with it. Mold formation is another thing you need to take care of. Act step by step and use products which not only clean the surface but kills hidden molds and germs as well.
  • Don’t throw your damaged stuff out. Your insurance company might be willing to inspect them before they provide you any compensation.
    Don’t use flood water for any purposes like drinking, bathing, cleaning, or food preparation. It is contaminated with sewage and other impurities.
  • Don’t go into the water clogged area when you aren’t properly equipped with rubber boots, hand gloves and masks.
  • Don’t attempt to redecorate your house immediately. Let the walls and floors dry out completely. It might take some time but make sure there is no mold formation or left out contaminations before you go on with refurbishing.