Fire damage restoration – Polygon’s advice on dealing with the risks of fire in the home

Top tips when disaster strikes

The home environment is the most common location for fires. In fact, fires in homes occur twice as often as in all other types of buildings combined. So be sure to protect yourself and your home by having working smoke detectors, fire blankets and fire extinguishers.

Before:

  • Install smoke detectors, portable fire extinguishers and make an evacuation plan.
  • Keep flammable liquids in a safe place
  • Do not store flammable materials in stairwells or near fire exits.
  • Go through your electrical system – one of the most common causes of fire is faulty electrical wiring.
  • Do not dry towels or other combustible material on electric heaters.
  • Extinguish candles when leaving a room.
  • Unplug the electric and aerial cables to the TV during a lightning storm.
  • Make sure the television is dust-free and surrounded by an airspace.
  • Make sure to change batteries in the smoke detectors.
  • Vacuum behind the refrigerators and freezers.

After:

  • Cooperate with the fire department to prevent flare-ups after a fire.
  • Contact your insurance company and report the damage as soon as possible. Most insurance companies have help hotlines to report incidents.
  • Do not wade through flood water if the electricity is still on or there is a chance that the water is contaminated.
  • Ventilate the house as much as possible by opening windows and doors.
  • Remove wet carpets or textiles from the house. This reduces the drying time of the building and inventory.
  • Place aluminum foil, wood blocks or saucers between furniture and floor coverings (especially wet carpets that cannot be removed). This prevents the water from being absorbed by the furniture, causing further damage.
  • Take inventory of the damaged areas to determine which items are salvageable and which need replacing. This will help the property damage specialists quickly start the restoration process once they arrive at the site.
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Remember

  • Restoration work takes time.
  • Make sure you are sufficiently insured.
  • Check experience and reputation before contracting a restoration company.
  • Objects with a personal or sentimental value that are moderately damaged by fire, such as antiques, art, photographs, etc. can often be restored.