Handling The Aftermath Of A Home Fire

When there is a fire, the main thing is to get yourself and your family to safety as quickly as possible.  For some people it is possible to grab a few items before they leave and once the fire is out, it is an automatic reaction to try and go back in to see what else can be rescued.  After a fire, there are a number of potential hazards in your home and entering before it is safe can put your life at risk.  Here are just a few of the potential hazards you may encounter:

Chemical Spills

Cleaning supplies may have interacted together when the bottles they were stored in melted in the fire.  The heat may also have caused the chemicals to give off toxic fumes.  Most people have a number of toxic substances in their home including cleaning materials and pesticides which could cause harm if inhaled or even stepped in when not wearing protective gear.

Sharp Metal

Extreme heat can cause damage to your appliances, piping and even building materials.  There is a possibility of burns if skin touches against the heated surfaces. There is also a chance of infection if you happen to cut yourself on any metal surface that has become sharp or contains an edge due to fire damage. You could even injure yourself severely if you step on a sharp piece of metal or cut yourself deeply while walking around in the home. 

Structural Damage

The extreme heat of a fire can do major damage to structural supports and even cause internal damage that may not be immediately obvious.  Bumping against a pillar or wall may be all the stress needed to cause the walls or ceilings and even rafters to come falling down.  This could result in injury and even death in extreme cases.
Ash, Soot and Water

Ash, soot and water can be a health hazard in the aftermath of a fire.  Breathing in soot particles can cause lung damage.  It is always important to deal with these effects after a fire to ensure no added risk to your family from smoke and soot in your air filtration system and no mildew or mold growth due to the water used to put the fire out.

Electricity

Exposed cabling and burned off insulation can put you and your family at risk of electrocution. This can also result in an electrical fire if the electricity has not been switched off immediately.

There are numerous potential hazards and dangers in the aftermath of a fire in your home.  It is often the best policy to call in professionals to deal with the clean up and safety precautions. Your insurance company would usually be able to send out someone to assess the damage to your home. Ensure the assessment is done before any clean up starts so that the assessor can get the full picture of the severity of the fire damage. You insurance company will probably pick up the bill to have professionals clean and restore your home after the fire, but it is always best to check your insurance policy to see what you are covered for in the event of a fire in your home.

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