A fire in the home or business premises can cause catastrophic damage and personal upset and misery to all involved. So when the emergency services retreat, what can you expect to find? What do you need to do? Read our article on some useful pieces of information that will help you should you be confronted with fire damage to your home or business premises.
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Fire damage can cause structural damage so the less people in the property, the better. Be aware of obstacles and sharp objects within the property and wear personal protective clothing. We highly recommend that you DO NOT enter the property unless instructed it is safe to do so by supporting authorities. Soot and smoke are hazardous to health. If you do enter the building you need to take precautions. Do not eat or drink anything that has been in contact with the flames, soot or smoke as certain contamination will have occurred.
Ensure gas, water and electricity supplies are switched off at the mains, do not touch any electrical sources whilst in contact with water. Remember that the fire services may use large quantities of water to extinguish the fire. Contact utilities suppliers and glaziers if necessary. Secure the property if possible. Although fire damage can be devastating you need to be aware that you are still responsible for the security of the property and you should act to keep your property safe and not compromise the safety of it.
3. Limit Secondary Damage
If it is safe and easy to do so you should try and remove valuable items to protect them from secondary damage caused by soot and smoke. It is also a good idea to make a quick list of items that have been damaged. Contact your insurance company and inform them of the situation. Be clear and concise with them. Offer them a list of items that have sustained damage and salvage what you can. Once you have contacted your insurance company, call Tempest Restoration on 0845 052 4522 and arrange for us to visit the property to provide expert advice and service to return your home to its pre-incident state as quickly and as efficiently as possible.
Please note that Tempest Restorations services are not a replacement for the Emergency Services and should only be contacted after them and your insurance company.
If your home is unsafe for any reason, do not attempt to enter any restricted areas as it may be dangerous to do so. Follow any instructions given to you by of cers in the local authority, the police or re services.
If anyone with authority has implemented restricted access to any part of your home, ask permission before entering those areas or removing any items.
Do not be tempted to use the premises until it has been cleared and made safe. It is your responsibility to ensure that fire alarms, fire doors and fire extinguishers have been checked or replaced and are in full working order. If you are still using the premises, you must have a means of escape in the event of another fire. Having a good business continuity plan will help to prepare you for emergencies. Safety teams can also provide you with detailed knowledge and advice on fire safety law and how to understand it.
Please be aware that failure to comply with statutory legislation in accordance with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 may result in criminal proceedings.
If your home is very badly damaged it may not be safe to stay there. Contact your local housing or social services departments who may be able to arrange emergency temporary accommodation for you. If it is out-of-hours the local authority or council will have an emergency out-of-hours contact number.
Ask your local fire officer for support. They can speak with the British Red Cross to provide a Fire Victim Support Vehicle with trained volunteers who will be able to give you immediate practical and emotional support.
Local councils are now responsible for providing help and support if you are in a position of immediate hardship. You don’t have to be claiming benefits to apply. The type of help can vary as there are no set rules about what they have to provide. Contact your local council for more information.
If you have concerns about your health or the health of anyone else involved in the incident, dial 111 NHS Choices non-emergency number for advice. Return any medicines that may have been damaged or contaminated to your pharmacy for disposal.
Inform your utility suppliers what has happened as soon as you can. Do not attempt to turn on any services that have been shut off until they have been checked by a qualified person and it is safe to do so. Do not use any electrical appliances that have come into contact with fire or water until they have been checked and approved for use by a qualified electrician.
If you are not able to remain in your home, ensure that all windows and doors are locked. If it is safe to do so, remove valuables.
If it looks like the fire was caused deliberately, the police will be notified and specialist fire investigators may also attend the scene. Do not enter any sealed off areas. It is your responsibility to make the property or business premises secure once the emergency services have left. This will also help to reduce the risk of an arson attack.
Flames, hot gases, smoke and water can all cause damage. We can help to return your property to its pre-incident state asap. Check for details in your local phone directory or use internet services provided in your local library. Food may have been damaged or contaminated by the incident; if in doubt don’t take any risks and dispose of it safely.
Always contact your insurance company as soon as you can and follow their advice on the actions you need to take. If your policy has been damaged you can ask them to send you a replacement copy. You will need to complete a claims form and they may wish to inspect your home or business premises before anything is moved, cleaned up or thrown away. Keep receipts, make a list and if possible take photos of important damaged household items or stock and merchandise.
A. We aim to be on the scene as soon as we can. With technicians located acrosss the UK, you are never too far away from the expert help of Tempest Restoration. The longer you delay after your property has been affected by fire, the worse the damage will be. From the moment of arrival on site, we will begin the decontamination process. We work around the clock to ensure that fire damage and your losses are kept to a minimum. We aim to safely return your business to normal, as quickly as possible.
A. Damage caused by fire may look superficial but its the effects on materials that are not visible that can have lasting consequences to health and to the structure of a building. Potential hazards include asbestos and lead among others. Your home is full of porous materials and smoke can penetrate these materials beyond what is viewable by the naked eye. Our bespoke equipment and understanding of the uniqueness of each fire gives us the ability to detect fire damage and deal with it safely and effectively. Hired machines in the hands of inexperienced operators will cost unnecessary time and money in the long term. We understand the urgency of returning your home to its pre incident state and we operate quickly and efficiently to do so for you.
A. From your point of view, the quicker the process starts, the quicker you can be back in your home. Restoration work following a fire can be lengthy, it would be wrong to assume its a quick fix. Secondary damage caused by fire begins within minutes but can be minimised if dealt with promptly by a professional. During a fire, chemical reactions produce chemicals that are toxic and potentially fatal. During the time that the fire services are extinguishing the flames, the use of water (although required for putting out the fire) can unfortunately cause further structural damage and additional hazards. The contaminated area needs to be neutralised and rendered safe to prevent further damage and degradation. Potentially, every minute is costing you money.
A. During the combustion of a fire, chemical changes occur and environmental pollutants are created, many of which are harmful to human health. This seems fairly straight forward but natural and synthetic materials in your home produce a vast array of chemicals, depending on their makeup. Here at Tempest, we thoroughly assess the entire area using state-of-the-art testing equipment to detect any traces of hazardous substances.
A. Of paramount importance and priority is safety. Fire can, however big or small, cause structural damage to your home. Even past the point of the emergency services approving the site safe for entry, you should still proceed with caution. Every fire is different and unique. The location of a fire in your home can cause a chain reaction to other rooms, and sometimes it can be contained, either way the process of restoration is variable depending on many different factors. We assess each site to ascertain the extent of the damage and the precise actions required. We undertake a comprehensive risk assessment and survey of the property along with safety checks of power supplies to isolate any further damage. Ventilation of the home then removes trace of odour. Contents are assessed for renovation/removal and damaged surfaces are decontaminated and cleaned, neutralising odours.
A. During a fire the heat produced can reach thousands of degrees. The corrosive smoke produced is forced into every space and becomes trapped in porous materials, most surfaces will almost certainly suffer corrosion. Combustion will create chemical products that will be toxic long after fire is extinguished. During the fire, fumes and chemicals produced such as carbon monoxide are potentially fatal. It is essential that your home is decontaminated by a professional following a fire, you could be ricking your health if you don't.
A. Yes. A fire produces chemical residues during combustion. The combustion process releases harmful chemicals into the environment. In older buildings materials such as asbestos and mercury have fatal side effects when subjected to fire. These chemicals penetrate porous materials and surfaces within the building itself. Smoke particles can penetrate some places you probably didn't think of, such as your heating system. If left, they can remain for months in the atmosphere which can result in lung irritation and respiratory problems, a major reason for having a professional undertake the restoration work.
A. Given that each fire is individual and unique based on many different factors including location, time and combustibles, the damage caused and cost to restore is also variable. In order to limit these costs, it is essential that fire damage remediation commences as quickly as possible. The secondary damage caused to properties begins following the fire being extinguished and will cause costs to escalate if not stopped. Our swift response teams located across the UK can be on site speedily and act quickly and efficiently to ensure your losses are kept to a minimum and your home can be back to normal in a short space of time.
A. Our technicians are trained to the highest standards and are equipped to decontaminate fire and soot-damaged properties. We have been restoring, renovating and repairing domestic and commercial premises for over many years and have served hundreds of customers in across the UK, helping them get back to normal. We are trusted providers to many insurance companies who come highly recommend.
A. We operate across the UK with technicians available in major towns and cities. Our head office is based in Swaffham, Norfolk where we undertake all our training.
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