A fire or flood is every homeowner’s worst nightmare. Thankfully, there are actions that can be taken for fire and flood prevention. It’s crucial to know what steps to take when faced with either flood or fire damage restoration. Here’s what you need to know about preventing a house fire or flood and how to clean up after one in the unfortunate event it happens to you.
Inspect Your Home for Potential Fire or Flood Hazards
The first step in preventing fire or flood damage is to identify and eliminate the unnecessary hazards that could lead to property damage. Some fire prevention essentials include the following:
- Smoke Alarms – Smoke alarms are the most essential item in alerting you of a fire as soon as it starts. It’s important to replace the batteries twice a year and test the alarms each month.
- Smart Heating – Make sure to always be in the same room as anything that is producing heat and keep the source at least 3 feet away from flammable materials.
- Check Appliances & Outlets – Verify that your appliances are in good working order. Check your power outlets to ensure they are not overloaded or showing signs of wear. Double-check that electronics that give off heat have plenty of space around them.
- Storage Safety – Inspect your furnace or heater and assure that it is free of surrounding debris or clutter. Avoid storing papers in a damp, warm place and always store any flammable liquids in a tightly sealed, metal container away from any source of heat.
Follow this flood prevention checklist to keep your home dry:
- Proper Floor & Wall Sealing – To prevent basement flooding, have an expert certify that the floor and walls of your home’s foundation have been properly sealed.
- Water Supply Line, Hot Water Tank & Sump Pump Inspection – Ensuring the working quality of your hot water tank or sump pump is crucial in basement flooding prevention. Inspect each once a year and keep an eye out for aging pipes or potential cracks in the water line.
- Optimized Drainage System – Once the water from heavy rains is pushed away from your home, it must be drained properly. A well-designed and maintained set of drainage tiles and pipes are extremely important for ongoing flood prevention.
Make Sure Your Home is Equipped for Early Detection
For fire detection, there are smoke alarms. For flood detection, there is Water Hero. Water Hero’s P-100 can help detect water leaks that warn you of early signs of faulty plumbing. It will automatically shut off your system in the event of a burst pipe for flood prevention, saving you from costly damage.
Consider Mobile Alerts
Most often, the worst flood and fire damage occurs while homeowners aren’t present to manually shut off the water source or call the fire department. Thankfully, monitoring your home while you are away has never been easier. We highly recommend setting up custom mobile alerts for when you are away from home to keep your mind at ease and your property safe from fires and floods.
How to Recover and Clean Up After a Fire or Flood
Recovering from a fire or flood may be daunting, but can be accomplished by following some essential steps. After calling 9-1-1 in the case of a fire, or manually shutting off your water in the case of a flood, the most important step in either case is talking to your insurance agent.
Depending on your policy, your insurance agent will be the best resource for understanding financial compensation and steps you can take for fire and water restoration. For your safety, it is important to talk to a professional before recovering lost items or taking the fire damage restoration or flood damage restoration into your own hands.
Fire Damage Cleanup and Odor Removal Tips
Fire damage restoration is often best left up to professionals. Contacting a fire restoration company for cleanup and odor removal is a great way to ensure success. If you plan to aid in the process, here are some fire restoration and odor removal tips:
- Keep Yourself Safe – Wear protective clothing, leather gloves, and heavily soled shoes. Follow public health guidance for safely cleaning up fire ash.
- Use Trisodium Phosphate (TSP) – Cleaning agents with TSP will help remove soot and smoke odor from clothes, fabrics, walls, furniture, and floors.
- Wash and Let Dry – Wash items such as kitchenware and leather goods in soapy water and let your walls and ceiling dry completely before repainting.
Flood Damage Cleanup: Steps and Health Concerns
Flood cleanup companies are poised and ready to aid in cleanup and prevent the negative health effects of mold buildup. However, there are a few steps you can take on your own to help:
- Turn off the Power – Manually switch off the circuit breaker or call a professional.
- Keep Yourself Safe – Wear waterproof boots and gloves to protect yourself from water and goggles and a facemask to protect from mold.
- Remove Wet Items and Dry Out the Area – Remove wet furniture, rugs, drywall, and insulation to prevent mold from growing. Clear out the standing water with buckets or a sump pump and use fans or a dehumidifier for preventing additional mold damage.
- Clean the Area – Wipe down the surfaces to remove dirt and hire a professional to inspect and eliminate mold growth.
Check Out This Helpful Infographic from One of Our Partners!
If you’re unfortunately the victim of a fire or flood, getting help with cleanup is necessary. The more extensive the damage, the more difficult it is to take care of it on your own, not to mention that significant risks from mold and fire ash can put your health at risk.
Arizona Fire and Water Restoration, Inc. gives helpful tips on how to repair the damage to your home caused by a fire or flood: