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All in a Flash

Remove lint from your dryer filter after every use. A clogged filter and lint trap make your dryer less efficient, reduces the airflow needed to keep heat from building up in vents, and forces lint onto the heating coils. Keep firewood, piles of leaves and garbage away from the home. If a grass fire starts nearby, these items next to your home could easily become kindling. Never dump hot ashes inside or near your home; keep them in a metal container well away from your house and garage.

Avoid using outlet extenders or plug-in power bars: Replace old, damaged or frayed appliance cords, and never force a three-pronged plug into a two-slot outlet or extension cord. Store containers of cooking oil well away from the stove. When cooking with oil, never leave the stove unattended. To stop a grease fire, turn off the burner and place a lid on the pan to suffocate the flames, or pour on lots of baking soda.

Never pour water on a grease fire or try to carry the pan outside; water splatters the grease and makes the fire bigger, and the pan will be much too hot to carry. Be sure to properly extinguish smoking materials. Smoking materials that are not properly extinguished can smoulder undetected for days before igniting a fire. Never discard smoking materials on the ground or in plant pots. Here are a few simple precautions to keep your home safer: Water potted plants regularly.

Make sure the soil around your potted plants stays moist. Soil in pots dries out faster than soil in garden beds. Make sure smokers have a safe place to dispose of their butts, indoors and outdoors. Use clay pots where possible. If a fire breaks out, a clay pot will keep it contained better than other types of pots.

Newark Ohio Fire Department working house fire 232 S Williams incident command with audio

Keep potting soil away from combustible materials. For example, firewood, stacks of old newspapers, aerosols, paint solvents, gasoline and cleaning products. Keep in mind that damage to the property often goes beyond what the eye can see. Removal of a destroyed house should only be done by professionals. You should spend a little time assessing whether you think you can perform the clean up or if you'll need professional cleaners.

You will find it useful to discuss this with your insurance company. Consider such things as: The types of damage including soot, ash, charring, smoke, odor, etc. Damage to a single room - this may be something you can manage yourself Extensive damage - leave it alone and call in the professionals [4].

Know how to handle smoke and soot damage after a fire.

Protecting your home from holiday fires

If you do make the decision to clean up yourself, be aware that soot and smoke damage might be significant and often creates a film on the walls. There will also be residue from the extinguishers used by the fire crew. Soot - while there are many cleaning products available on the market, one of the most common is "TSP" or tri-sodium phosphate.

Mix it with water according to the instructions and use a sponge.


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Wipe down the walls and let it dry. Extinguisher residue - use a shop hired vacuum to remove the residue and any remaining dry soot. Even if it is freezing cold outside, let small bursts of fresh air circulate through. Send the kids to a friend's house for a bit while this is happening. They should not be around anyway, for fear of the potential for ingestion of chemical particles or other particles that might damage young lungs and immune systems. If water hoses were used to put out your fire drying your home is very important.

Water damage can lead to more damage or even mold if not dried properly. Insurance companies will often have approved restoration contractors that you can call for board up, structural drying, contents cleaning and structural cleaning and repair. BBB and Angie's List are also good places to find trustworthy contractors.

Fireplace and wood stove safety

Seek counseling if needed and reassure children. Having your house damaged or destroyed by fire is extremely traumatic and can have lasting impacts on each family member, depending on his or her ability to cope. Common feelings are helplessness, disorientation, pining for belongings, deep sadness , a sense of deprivation, despair and a loss of routine and structure.

Reassure each other and let the emotions happen. Keep a close eye on children and be truthful with them about what has happened and if you do not know what is going to happen next, at least reassure them that you have one another, that things can all be replaced and that the only way is up from here on. It can be as fast as 30 seconds for a house to be covered in black smoke so you can't breathe, and two minutes until it's so hot that everything combusts.

Modern houses filled with modern materials tend to reach flashpoint much faster than older houses with older materials inside. Watch YouTube videos showing flashpoints to get a really good idea of how fast fire moves. Not Helpful 7 Helpful What is the best way to select a company to come and do clean-up? Do the insurance companies choose or do I have a say? Ask your insurance carrier who to use and search for yourself.

Get estimates for property removal, cleaning, and storage.


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Ask for references to check their customers' experiences with their service. Ask your agent what your policy covers. Find out how the clean-up company will be paid: Be careful with items too damaged to clean, some companies will try anyway wasting your money. What if the fire started on the electric box in the house?

What Really Happens in a House Fire

Does the municipality fix the burnt house or what? No, even when fault can be assigned to a municipality, they are not going to give funds to help citizens recover. It's an accepted risk we all unknowingly agreed to for city provided utilities, it's actually in the fine print we tend to not read when signing up for services. Be sure to have insurance coverage or a cheap house that is cheap to rebuild. Not Helpful 6 Helpful Not Helpful 11 Helpful You should call your insurance providers, they will send an agent to the site with equipment to examine the damage caused by the fire.

You will need a report from the local fire department too in order to collect on your claim. Not Helpful 0 Helpful 1. Does the inventory of contents happen onsite, or does the insurance company move everything to another location? For the most part, inventory is done onsite, and everything is boxed or bagged according to the damage. Not Helpful 0 Helpful 0. Does the fire department turn off the gas and electric?

Will my pipes freeze and create more damage? It is possible they turned off all or some utilities depending on the severity of the fire and where it was located n your home. Contact your local electric, water, gas department if you unsure - they should be able to check. You could also ask the firefighters who responded. You should not re-enter the house at any point until you have been cleared to do so by firefighters.

What you need to do when a fire starts

Make sure to take pictures of the damages first, for your insurance claim. Also, make sure your repair works meet the minimum standards for construction. Electrical works, piping for gas or water, wall building, even flooring, are all subject to minimum quality requirements. You may need to prove that the repairs have been done in such a way that meets those requirements.

Not Helpful 1 Helpful 0. Does the "leave it to a professional" apply if the fire occured in a detatched garage with no car inside, resulting in the total destruction of the garage? Answer this question Flag as