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Vermont Residential Fire Damage: What to do After the Smoke Lifts

Lately, residential fires have filled the nightly Vermont news. There were five fatal fires in the Burlington area in 2011. In 2012 there has already been one fatal fire in Essex Junction, a residential fire in Burlington, and a fire destroyed a popular local business in Middlesex.

Some of these fires are related to wood stoves and fireplaces, some to faulty electrical wiring, others to cigarettes. In many cases simple fire prevention measures, like the use of an ash can or even an ash tray, might have preempted disaster. In other cases, the fires that ripped through Vermont homes and businesses were inevitable.

When disaster strikes, it’s important to react as quickly as possible even after the fire is out. This will help insurance companies contain the losses, help homeowners get back to normal life, and reduce the potentially toxic after-effects caused by fire damage.

Every fire generates particles of incomplete combustion that remain in the air and on surfaces after the fire is out. Many of these particles  are known carcinogens. They range in size from 0.1 to 4.0 microns. A micron is tiny: there are 25,400 microns in one inch. Because of their very small size, these particles are easily inhaled which is why they are so dangerous. The presence of such particles might warrant complete evacuation of the property.

Once these potential health hazards are addressed, it is time to consider the contents of the home or business. A quick response time here can also make a huge difference. Consider the consequences of fire damage: Within minutes plastic and marble surfaces begin to permanently stain; Within hours metals tarnish, grout stains, fiberglass yellows and furniture yellows; Within Days floors stain, fabrics are lost, and wood furniture finish is history.

This is why you should contact a professional fire damage mitigator like PuroClean who will communicate the processes that will take place, how your property and personal items will be protected, and work with you and your insurance company on getting your life back together after the fire. When it comes to professional smoke and fire damage mitigation on your behalf, PuroClean’s responsibilities include:

  • Respond rapidly to the customer
  • Communicate the procedures and secure an authorization
  • Scope the damage and provide a detailed estimate
  • Control and contain to prevent continuing damage
  • Prevent cross-contamination
  • Properly clean and process the entire job
  • Process and properly dispose of wastes
  • Provide effective odor control
  • Provide an environment ready for any final repairs