Only a few days after a fire, items go from cleanable to unsalvageable. The professionals of ServiceMaster EMT are experts in understanding the chemical combinations that can effectively clean and salvage belongings. They can even remove soot from at-risk items such as brass, aluminum, chrome, marble, tile, and porcelain as well as fabrics in upholstery and carpets, thus helping to avoid additional expenses. Save carpets and floors by calling ServiceMaster EMT at (888) 767-9075.
After a fire – Cautions:
■ Do not enter the damaged site. Fires can rekindle from hidden, smoldering remains.
■ Normally, the fire department will see that utilities (water, electricity and natural gas) either are safe to use or are disconnected before they leave the site. Do not attempt to turn on utilities yourself.
■ Be watchful for structural damage caused by the fire. Roofs and floors may be damaged and subject to collapse.
■ Food, beverages, and medicine exposed to heat, smoke, soot, and water should not be consumed.
■ Contact your local police department to let them know that the site will be unoccupied.
■ In some cases it may be necessary to board up openings to discourage trespassers.
■ Beginning immediately, save receipts for any money you spend. These receipts are important in showing the insurance company what money you have spent related to your fire loss, and also for verifying losses claimed on your income tax.
■ If it is safe to do so, try to locate the following items:
• identification, such as driver’s licenses and Social Security cards;
• insurance information; • medication information;
• eyeglasses, hearing aids, or other prosthetic devices; and
• valuables, such as credit cards, bank books, cash, and jewelry.
■ Do not throw away any damaged goods until after an inventory is made. All damage is taken into consideration in developing your insurance claim.
■ If you are considering contracting for inventory or repair services, discuss your plans with your insurance agent/company first.
IF YOU ARE INSURED
■ Give notice of the loss to the insurance company or the insurer’s agent/ company.
■ Ask the insurance company what to do about the immediate needs of the dwelling, such as covering doors, windows, and other exposed areas, and pumping out water.
■ Ask your insurance agent/company what actions are required of you. Some policyholders may be required to make an inventory of damaged personal property showing in detail the quantity, description, and how much you paid for the items.
ServiceMaster EMT provides fire and smoke cleanup services in Los Angeles and Lake Forest, CA 92630 as well as the surrounding towns of Orange County.
What to do if you have smoke/fire damage
- Blow off or brush-vacuum loose soot particles from upholstery, drapes, and carpets.
- Cover carpeted traffic areas with towels or old linens to prevent additional soiling.
- Discard open food packages. The food could be contaminated.
- If electrical service is off, clean out your freezer and refrigerator. Leave the doors propped open or place charcoal in the unit.
- Send clothing with heavy smoke damage to a qualified professional dry cleaner who specializes in smoke damage.
- Clean Formica and chrome fixtures in the kitchen and bathroom to prevent permanent tarnishing.
- Wipe residue from porcelain bath fixtures to prevent etching.
- Wipe the leaves of houseplants to remove smoke residue.
- Change the air filter on your furnace if it uses forced hot air.
- Tape cheesecloth over intake and outlet air registers to capture any loose soot in the air. This is even more effective if the cheesecloth is damp.
- If the outside temperature is above 60 degrees, air out the house to reduce smoke odor.
Important warnings on smoke and fire damage
- Do not attempt to wash any papered or flat painted walls without consulting your professional cleaner. Incorrect cleaning procedures could compound the soot residue problem.
- Do not attempt to clean carpets or upholstered furniture. Again, incorrect procedures could increase damage.
- Do not use electrical appliances that have been close to fire or water before having them checked. They could malfunction.
- Do not use ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet. A short circuit could result.
- Do not touch anything. Soot on your hands can permeate upholstery, walls, and woodwork, causing further damage.
- Do not eat food that has been exposed to fire or smoke.
- Do not wait to call for professional help.
Contact ServiceMaster EMT anytime at 888-767-9075 for more information about our fire damage restoration services in Los Angeles and Lake Forest, CA 92630 area.
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