Picking Up the Pieces After a Fire.
It's fire season in California again and in California, there are many, many business and home owners picking up the pieces after a fire.
It started earlier than usual this year. As I write this, over 290,000 acres are burning in Northern California. Here in Southern California, we have three fires burning at once; the Holy Fire, Cranston Fire and Valley Fire. So much damage!
As a business or home owner, its critical to know what to do and what not to do next.
What Not To Do
It’s understandable that once the fire is out you’ll want to start putting ‘your life’ back together again. This impulse could lead to more disaster though, so proceed with caution and heed this list of things to NOT do after a fire.
- Don’t enter the structure until authorities have given the go-ahead.
- Don’t turn on any utilities (electrical, gas, water).
- Don’t start or move your vehicle if it’s been damaged.
- Don’t clean soot, smoke or ash yourself. Professionals will have the right safety equipment and experience whereas untrained property owners can easily be hurt.
What To Do
Once you’ve been allowed back onto your property, and based on the severity of the situation, there are a number of things you absolutely SHOULD do. These include:
- Contact family members and loved ones to let them know what has happened.
- Focus on your family members and pets on the premises and ensure their safety and comfort.
- Alert all your utility providers (electrical, water, gas) about the fire.
- Begin the claim process with your property insurance company.
- Review and confirm the accuracy of the fire report (the official document, issued by the responding fire department, that details the specifics of the incident). This is important for insurance purposes.
- Document all fire damage. Take photos and write detailed notes about the full extent of property damage.
- Before you leave the property, collect all valuables and precious heirlooms and take them with you.
- Notify the police that your home will be vacant for a period of time for restoration and repairs.
- Call a professional restoration company for immediate service. Rapid service from a professional, certified, and highly reputable restoration company will help avoid further damage to your property.
What SERVPRO of Yorba Linda/ Brea Will Do For You
We’re happy you’ve called on us to begin the all-important restoration work. On arrival, we’ll begin working with you to make you feel ‘Like it never even happened.’
Assess the extent of the damage in your property: This will usually involve looking at how far the fire, the smoke, and the soot have traveled as well as seeing how badly affected your walls and furniture have been.
Tarp and Sealing Services: Once the fire damage restoration begins in earnest, the main priority will always be to prevent damage from getting worse.
Clean Up: Clean up includes cleaning away smoke, dust, and soot from all surfaces. Any standing pools of water will be removed using submersible pumps and the areas will then be dried and sanitized. Deodorizing the structure is also very important. SERVPRO of Yorba Linda/ Brea will remove any lingering smoky odors in the structure. Carpet cleaning may also be required at this time.
Dry Out: This could be considered part of the overall clean-up effort. We separate this out though in order to highlight the steps we take to completely dry the structure. Once any standing water has been pumped out, we use air movers and dehumidifiers to completely dry out all salvageable walls, floors, ceilings etc. Assuming that we have been called immediately after to start the clean up and drying process, we can usually avoid a mold situation. Otherwise, we have to build containments to seal off airways in the structure. Then we thoroughly clean all mold using special chemicals. When water has been absorbed into the walls and/ or ceilings, we demo the drywall to expose the studs in the walls so that our air-movers can thoroughly dry them. Failure to do this leads to a serious mold problem.
SERVPRO of Yorba Linda/ Brea is a family owned business. We feel your worry and concern after an event like this and we know you need help NOW. When we send our technicians to your home or business, we’re sending highly qualified, credentialed, trained and experience personnel. We take the time you need to feel comfortable with our process and keep you updated through the entire project. We’ve become the #1 SERVPRO franchise in California by consistently providing our customers with the best restoration service available. We keep our promises, and we meet our deadlines because we have integrity; we know that a promise is a promise.
Listen to what our customers have said about us when you visit our testimonials page, http://www.SERVPROyorbalindabrea.com/testimonials
If you need immediate assistance, call us 24/7/365 at 714-701-0207.