The fire damage on you premises can be totally traumatizing and once the fire has been put out it is easy to assume that all dangers, too, have been extinguished Yet many dangers may still exist and your immediate concern is to protect yourself, your children and your pets from the stress, fatigue and other fire-related health hazards
A major safety precaution to observe after fire damage is to determine the stability of your structure Look around your house and try to detect any hot spots that could flare up before venturing in Fire damage can cause damaged or fallen power poles and lines that has to be avoided – as these may have lost stability after the fire Electric wires are especially dangerous as they could shock people or cause further fires You should also watch out for ash pits, holes full of hot ashes, and mark them for safety On the roof, check to confirm that there are no sparks or burning embers that could reignite.
In the event of a fire, the Fire Department will have disconnected utility services as a fire damage precaution and you now need to confirm that the power is off Confirm also that the main circuit breaker is on as fires may cause circuit breaker failure You should contact the utility company immediately if the circuit breakers are on and you still have no power One thing you must not do is to try to reconnect the utilities yourself
In the house and elsewhere on the compound, you should check for smoke and sparks several hours after the fire remember that winds could blow burning embers everywhere leading to renewed fires and consequential fire damage as for the debris that has been accumulated during fire-fighting, you should wet it down to contain the dust particles it releases and which have health impacts
As a result of the fire and fire damage, a lot of hazardous waste will have been accumulated and these now need to be discarded with utmost care Such waste includes cleaning products, paint, batteries, contaminated fuel and other flammable substances local authorities will have disposal instructions and you should contact them for assistance
To safeguard yourself from injuries, you must wear protective gear during the clean up exercise You will need disposable plastic gloves to protect yourself from bacteria and leather gloves to guard against sharp objects that will be contained in the debris For your eyes, wear goggles or other protective eyewear Other protective gear you will need includes rubber boots or foot coverings and headgear A respirator with a particulate filter or a half-face respirator filter will guarantee you do not inhale harmful dust particles Before meals, make sure that you thoroughly wash your hands with warm water and detergent
In the event that you house is declared unfit for habitation, you should make arrangements for alternative accommodation while repairs are being made You are advised to keep records of all the additional living expenses that this entails as your insurers could reimburse you for such fire damage