It’s bad enough to have a fire in your home, but while you’re cleaning up from under the ashes and soot, you’ll likely have other issues to deal with as well, such as water and smoke damage. And winter is the time of year when the danger of fire increases, since we’re using space heaters, candles, and fireplaces, and even the drier climate can cause tinderbox conditions around your home. Naturally, the first step is to avoid the fire in the first place, but then you have clean it up.
Be Vigilant, Stay Safe
During the cooler winter temperatures, our tendency is to turn up the heat, whether central or a space heater, and light the fireplace. Since cooler weather is also better snuggling and romance weather, more candles are lit this time of year as well. While all of that is good stuff (that we especially look forward to in the desert of Phoenix!), it can pose a risk of fire damage.
It’s pretty easy to keep these enjoyable winter activities safe. Simply, …
- Keep your space heater at least 12” from anything (and some professionals advice 4–5 FEET), including furniture, walls, and household items. Pets and children should also be kept away from space heaters so they don’t run into them and knock them over. Even though today’s portable heaters are much safer today than they once were, it’s best not to take unnecessary risks.
- Make sure candles are extinguished before going to sleep, and always use sturdy ceramic or metal candleholders. Although tapers look beautiful in a tall, slender holder, the wax drippings can pile up, leaving not only a mess but also a risk of fire damage. Just blow them out before they get too out of control.
- Close up the fireplace before bedtime. If you have a gas version, you just need to flip the switch, but if you’re burning wood, close the glass doors on the front to avoid any possibility that sparks can jump onto the carpet or nearby furniture.
You also want to make sure you have working fire and smoke alarms throughout the house, as well as plenty of easy-to-reach fire extinguishers. That way, if you have small fires, you have a greater chance of catching them before they get too crazy.
Battling the Compound Effects of Fire Damage
Once the fire takes place, depending on its size, it’s going to take an extinguisher or gallons of water to get rid of it. That means you’re dealing with a lot of potential damage from the fire, smoke, soot, and water, not to mention a mess of friendly firefighters tromping through your home.
It’s best to start your restoration efforts quickly so that you have a better chance of determining what can be saved and what will need to be replaced. Contact your insurance agent and restoration firm within hours of the damage occurring, mostly because you’ll want to talk to the insurance agent to determine what your policy covers and how much money you can expect to deal with the restoration and repair.
Most restoration firms do handle fire, water, smoke, and mold, but be sure you double-check. If the company just deals with fire damage, they may be missing a lot from the compound effects of that fire.
If you have questions about restoration services or have suffered loss from a fire or flood, Rocky Mountain Restoration, Phoenix’s premier restoration and damage experts, can help. Give us a call 24/7 at 480-309-2524.