According to the estimates provided by the National Fire Protection Association, fire departments in the United States respond to fire accidents every 24 seconds. The NFPA also estimated that there is one fire-related injury every 32 minutes and one fire-related death every 142 minutes. For that reason, preventive measures should be taken.
Ways to Avoid Fire Accidents
Being prepared and cautious at home is the key to avoiding fire accidents. Here are some preventive measures to keep in mind:
1. Install Smoke Alarms and Sprinklers
If your house does not have smoke detectors or sprinkler systems yet, consider having them installed soon. These systems help minimize the damage brought about by fire accidents. If you already have these at home, make sure to check them from time to time and see that they are working properly.
2. Install Fire Extinguishers in Accessible Areas
The use of fire extinguishers is only recommended when putting out small and incipient fires. Nevertheless, having fire extinguishers installed in the most accessible areas of your home can be of great help. Be sure that you or your other family members are trained to use them. For large fires, call the nearest fire department.
3. Keep an Eye on Your Kitchen Appliances
Since cooking is the most common cause of fire accidents in the U.S., it is recommended to keep an eye on your kitchen appliances. Check them from time to time and turn them off after use. If there are any damaged parts, have them repaired immediately.
What NOT to Do DURING a Fire
- Do not try to put out the fire yourself.
- Do not use an elevator when evacuating.
- Do not hide in the bathroom or any other room.
- Do not try to enter the property.
What to Do DURING a Fire
- Look for a fire exit or a way out of the property you are in.
- Call the nearest fire department immediately.
- Stay below the smoke because it contains chemicals that are harmful to the lungs.
- Look for a safe place while waiting for the firefighters to arrive.
- In cases where someone is trapped inside the property, inform the firefighters.
What NOT to Do AFTER a Fire
1. Do not enter your property
Even if you think that it looks safe already, as long as there is no go signal yet from the fire department, you should never enter your property. You might breathe in harmful chemicals from the smoke even after the fire has already been extinguished. If possible, wait until the fire damage restoration services are finished before you enter.
2. Do not clean any part of the property
Do not try to wipe out or clean soot off the affected parts of your property. Your insurance company must conduct an assessment first before cleanup services commence. The purpose of this is to see all the damage done by the fire and assess how much of it can be financially reimbursed.
3. Do not use anything affected by fire and smoke residue
It is not recommended to use anything inside your house after a fire accident until it has been attended to by professional fire damage restoration services. Carpets and furniture should be cleaned and disinfected first by a fire damage cleanup company. Moreover, you should never eat food or drinks — whether canned, bottled or packed — left inside your property. Even when sealed, food that has been exposed to high temperatures becomes inedible. Heat activates bacteria that cause spoilage in food and beverages.
Turning on water and electricity sources after a fire should be avoided since it brings potential hazards. Similarly, the use of appliances should be avoided.
What To Do AFTER a Fire
Even after the fire is put out, safety is still not guaranteed. Here’s a list of the things you should do after a fire accident:
1. Prioritize Safety
After a fire accident, the first thing you should do is to ensure your safety. There are cases when a fire can reignite even after it has already been put out. Because you do not know the extent of the damage the fire has caused, it is best to assume that the fire-damaged property is at risk of collapsing. Do not attempt to re-enter the property unless it has been declared safe by the fire department.
2. Call Your Insurance Company
The next thing to do is to take photos of the fire damage. You do not have to enter your property to collect enough evidence. You can take photos from a safe distance and start listing all the damages and the estimated value of everything you have lost. Before calling for fire damage restoration services, call your insurance company first to know how much of the damage is covered by their property insurance policies.
3. Call a Restoration Company
One of the most important things to do after a fire is to call a restoration company to do the cleanup and repairs needed. Doing the necessary after-fire cleanup yourself brings a lot of dangers, so it is not recommended. With a restoration company that knows how to repair fire damage at your home, you have the assurance that everything is done right without jeopardizing your safety.
How Deep Water Emergency Services and Restoration Can Help
Deep Water Emergency Services & Restoration is here to help you deal with the damages caused by fire accidents. We provide fire damage restoration services to restore your property to its pre-damaged condition. We also provide other services such as sewage cleanup, mold mitigation, COVID-19 decontamination, and water damage restoration services in Denver, CO. For further inquiries or questions, do not hesitate to contact us.