Fires in your home or office can be damaging enough, but electrical fires can bring a whole new threat into your home. Electrical fires are different from normal fires in that they cannot be put out by normal means. That is, you can’t put water on them. This will only serve to make the problem worse as water conducts electricity and could make the fire spread. The electrical fire damage cleanup that follows can also be an arduous and lengthy matter.
Electrical fires most commonly occur in the coldest months of the year, usually December and January. This is due greatly to the heightened used of electricity for heating, appliances and lighting. The days are shorter and the use of artificial light is needed more frequently than in warmer months. Also, these are times when families huddle together with their electric heaters while watching their favorite programs or movies. While most electrical fires occur in the bedroom, most deaths from electrical fires occur from fires ignited in living rooms.
Electrical equipment subjected to heat and fire residue can be exceptionally dangerous if re-energized without first executing a proper assessment and inspection by a professional. Use of damaged equipment, residue from burning materials, or moisture can alter the ability of the equipment to perform its intended function and be used safely. Damage can also result from airborne contaminants that can affect the performance of the equipment. Smoke and soot from burning materials can be particularly harmful due to the destructive and conductive nature of the residue. And don’t forget damage caused by fire extinguishers and other fire-suppressant activities, structural damage, and weather exposure.
After an electrical fire has damaged your home, the first step in the cleanup process is to get permission from a fire marshal to safely re-enter your home. Assuming the damages aren’t that bad and you want to tackle the project yourself, here are some of the next cleanup steps.
First ventilate the home to exhaust the heavy smoke odors. Use fans, dehumidifiers and, weather permitting, open doors and windows. Use proper personal protective equipment such as rubber gloves, safety goggles, boots and respiratory protection. Protecting your floor with a drop cloth, remove loose soot from walls and ceilings with the dust attachment of a HEPA filtered vacuum cleaner. You can also use a dry chemical sponge. This sponge is impregnated with a chemical that removes soot and smoke from your wall. Wipe soot with the dry sponge, when the sponge becomes saturated with soot, wash and leave to air dry.
The process is tedious, and the work is tough, but during the course of your efforts you should see and smell noticeable improvements.
Electrical fire damage cleanup can be a daunting task. Doing it on your own may be too much for you. It may also do little to restore your Nashua, NH home back to its sparkling, odor-free best. For this you may need to call a professional. Soil-Away Cleaning and Restoration is an excellent choice for fast, effective electrical fire damage cleanup. They are an IICRC Master Certified company with over 25 years of service in helping homes and businesses recover from property disasters. They are available 24/7 and can remedy your situation quickly. Contact them at www.soilaway.com or call (603) 641-6555.
Written by E. Aceves