Faulty House Wiring
Children Playing With Fire
Faulty House Wiring
Children Playing With Fire
Fire classifications based on fuel type:
ABC Powder extinguishers are useful for class A, B, and C fires, since they do not use any electrically conductive chemicals. They can effectively break the chain reaction in a liquid or gas fire, something a water extinguisher cannot do. Cleanup is fairly manageable.
Dry chemical extinguishers, used on Class A and B fires, use monoammonium phosphate, sodium bicarbonate, or potassium bicarbonate. Time is of the essence after this type of extinguisher is used because these powders can be corrosive to metals and can cause further damage if not cleaned up quickly. If it has not been done already, we will shut off your ventilation system and electrical power while cleaning up dry chemical residue. We will clean all the electrical contacts inside of all outlets in this process. Vacuuming or fan use should not be started until we determine the type of chemical used.
Bicarbonate based residue is less corrosive than dry chemical, and we will use vacuum equipment fitted with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters. Carbon Dioxide (CO2) extinguishers leave virtually no residue and evaporate fairly completely. Cleanup is relatively quick and safe. Some Class D extinguishers use a graphite-based powder, which can become sensitive to static charge and become combustible if it is stirred back into the air. This makes it dangerous to clean with a vacuum, and we use manually operated collection devices for this residue.
Fire damage to your home or business goes beyond burned areas. A small appliance fire in your basement can result in smoke damage that extends throughout your home or business. Similarly, if a fire breaks out in the condo below yours, your own space can suffer significant smoke damage.
Smoke and soot damage affects the insulation and wood structures inside of walls, floors, and ceilings. It cannot be painted over with “smoke killing” paint. The smell of the new paint can temporarily cover up the smoke smell, but it is not a correct restoration. Special methods are needed to eliminate smoke damage properly. We use trisodium phosphate when treating smoke damaged surfaces. The more porous the surface, the greater the likelihood it will need to be replaced. Certain soft goods such as drapery and linen can be professionally cleaned and restored to a smoke-free condition.
Some fires are intentionally set, and some appear from natural disasters outside the home or business building. Their resulting damage can vary, depending on response time.
Over 250,000 intentional fires are reported to U.S. local fire departments every year, with associated annual losses of over 500 deaths, over 1,300 injuries, and $1 billion in direct property damage. Because they intend to do as much damage as possible, arsonists frequently use a chemical accelerant, which causes the fire to burn hotter and spread more quickly. As a result, the damage caused is usually greater in scope and scale than accidental fires and requires more extensive repair and restoration measures.
In 2020, the Western States Wildfire burned more than 8 million acres and destroyed nearly 15,000 buildings, with more than 10,000 being private homes. Property damage and related costs of the Western States fires alone were over $10 billion. Wildfire damage typically starts on exterior surfaces, mainly the roof. If controlled in time, the damage can be contained outside of the living space.
Smoke and soot can be toxic. The toxicity level depends on the materials that were burned. The two most common chemical byproducts of burned materials are carbon and tar, which are well-known health hazards. Smoke and soot also contain chemical irritants that can cause respiratory irritation or trigger asthma attacks.
On average, the cost of cleaning up residential fire and smoke damage will typically run between $3000 and $30,000, with a national average of about $13,000 for a full restoration. Your exact figure depends on factors such as the extent of the initial damage, water removal, chemical cleanup from extinguishers, soot removal, and extent of smoke damage. Mold remediation can be a major component of your fire damage restoration if more than 24 hours have elapsed since the fire crews dampened the surfaces. After being soaked with water, the increased humidity can cause your building’s wooden components to open their pores, which causes them to absorb more smoke and soot residue.
Smoke and soot contain acids that cause plastics to be yellow, and highly porous materials such as marble will discolor permanently. This effect begins within minutes of exposure to smoke. These acid residues will stain bathroom and kitchen grout. Fiberglass fixtures and countertops begin to yellow, and uncoated metals begin to tarnish. Furniture finishes begin to discolor. This all starts within hours of initial exposure. After a few days, painted walls begin to yellow permanently, metal rusts and corrodes, wood furniture requires refinishing or replacing, and fabrics become permanently stained. Within a few weeks, restoration costs increase drastically. Hard surfaces are permanently etched.
We will keep your air handling systems shut off until our experts can evaluate all the ductwork and blower components. This is to avoid spreading smoke and soot residue into currently unaffected parts of the building.
If your home is structurally unsafe during the restoration process or no longer has electricity or running water, you should not occupy the building. If the damage is confined to one area of your house, you may decide to stay in the space, but there will be repair noise and a smokey smell until we complete the restoration.
If your business location sustained fire damage, it must be certified to be safe for occupancy before reopening. As with a residence, if the damage is confined to a remote area, it may be possible to keep a portion of the area open during repairs if the affected area is properly sealed off. We can assist you in properly accomplishing this temporary arrangement with correct safety barriers and other methods.