Fire Damage Emergency Tips
What you can do until help arrives
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Some may be under the impression that the actual flames of a fire kill people. However, it’s the smoke and toxic gases that kill more people. Another thing you need to know, is fire produces poisonous gases that make you disoriented and drowsy. Asphyxiation is the leading cause of fire deaths, exceeding burns by a three-to-one ratio.
- Nearly 4000 Americans die each year in house fires and over 2000 are severely injured.
- In only 3 1/2 minutes, the heat from a house fire can reach over 1100 degrees Fahrenheit.
- About 80% of all civilian deaths from fire occur in the home.
- In rooms that are not even on fire the temperature can reach over 300 degrees; this is hot enough to melt plastic and kill the people in those rooms.
- Adults 65 and older are more than twice as likely to die in fires as the overall population.
- The leading cause of fire deaths is careless smoking.
- Having a working smoke detector more than doubles one's chances of surviving a fire.
- In 2005, 106 firefighters died in the line of duty in the United States.
It is important to be aware of these facts and to read our previous fire prevention post to help prevent a fire in your home or business.
If a fire strikes your home or business, call SERVPRO of Jefferson, Franklin, & Perry Counties for any restoration needs.
Have Smoke or Fire Damage? Call (618) 435-8200
What To Do After A Fire
- Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
- Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
- Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
- If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
- Clean and protect chrome with light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
- Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
- Change HVAC filter.
- Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.
What NOT To Do After A Fire
- Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting us.
- Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
- Don't use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water.
- Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
- Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.