How Harmful is Soot on Appliances, Countertops, Walls, and Other Surfaces After a Fire?
Once a fire has been put out, you may feel that you are in the clear. This isn’t necessarily the case; while extinguishing a fire does indeed remove a clear and present danger to your home and your family, it leaves behind smoke damage, ash, and soot, all of which can cause long term damage on their own.
Soot is residue from burned materials, which includes fuels, wood, and more. In large deposits, such as within a chimney place, it can even re-ignite. The type of soot that you’ll be dealing with will be less concentrated, but no less of a hazard. Inhaling soot can lead to cardiovascular problems in people of any age or level of health.
When a fire happens in any residential or commercial property, smoke and soot become major issues that need to be taken care of quickly. Smoke and soot damage goes way beyond what the human eye can see and seeps deep into all parts of a property’s structure, insulation, furniture, and appliances. There are plenty of places smoke and soot damage that you may not ever consider.
Fire damage is devastating to a home and its occupants. Once the flames are out, there will be a lot of things you’ll need to do as the homeowner to minimize the damage to your personal belongings and start the restoration process. Here are a few tips to help you get started getting your home back in order.
You should not enter the property until the fire department confirms that the fire is out and it is safe to go inside. Embers can smolder for days and rekindle if not properly extinguished. When it is safe to return, grab any important documents such as birth certificates, insurance papers and mortgage information. Be sure to take any medications you will need and any valuables you can carry. Anything in a fireproof safe will probably be fine.
The next step is to call a certified fire restoration company, such as our company, for clean up and restorative services. There will be lingering smoke and soot on everything and you may want to stay in a hotel for the duration of the cleanup. You will most likely not be allowed inside during the restoration process due to the environmental safety risks associated with smoke inhalation and chemical exposure. The cleanup crew will be wearing protective clothing and masks to protect them while they are working.
- Do not use any electrical appliances
- Do not turn on any lights, use a flashlight [electrical wiring could be damaged]
- Do not attempt to clean anything
- Do not turn on your furnace or heat source
- Open windows for ventilation to get smoke out of the house
- Remove animals from the house [they are affected by smoke inhalation also]
- Limit the number of people going in and out of the home to avoid tracking soot
- Call a plumber or HVAC Technician to turn off the gas and drain the water heater.
Contact Regency Disaster Response Team immediately if you have been the victim of fire damage. Our staff is available 24/7 to respond to emergencies. We know that time is very important and will there within minutes of your call securing everything for your safety and to contain the mess.
Have you ever looked up at your smoke alarm and thought, “I wonder how that works?” Well the simple answer is, “With cunning ingenuity”. The first thing to understand is that there are two basic smoke alarm designs. The first and the most commonly used design is nuclear powered and is known as an ionization smoke detector, these require little space are cheap and are more common than the other type of detector, which is the photoelectric smoke detector.
Fire is a terrifying force, even on the smallest of scales. When it gets out of control, it can ravage thousands and thousands of acres. Stories of the worst fires in history, and the courage and sacrifice they’ve inspired, provide a humbling glimpse into the power of nature.