When you think of catastrophes that could befall a home, one that comes to my mind often is a fire. It might not be the most common occurrence but does happen enough that it is something to worry about.
This is particularly true in areas like Toledo, Ohio, where it can get quite hot and dry. Combine those conditions with a thunderstorm in the summer and one bolt of lightning and it can end in disaster.
How can we handle the carnage, though? Remediation services can certainly help, which I will be discussing today.
However, there are also measures we can take in terms of repairs and prevention. If any of this sounds relevant, be sure to continue reading!
What Causes House Fires?
This is probably the most common question that I hear regarding this topic. That is probably why there are whole articles dedicated to it, like this one.
The main takeaway in general that I would like to highlight is that they are responsible for billions of dollars’ worth of property damage each and every year – never mind the thousands of lives that they claim as well.
Something to keep in mind is that we cannot pin all of the unintentional house fires on one cause. Rather, there are many different potentials.
Knowing them is one of the first steps that we can take for preventing them, though, so that is why I will discuss a few of them.
I know that no one really wants to hear this, but those candles that make our homes smell so nice are also a huge safety hazard – particularly when they are left unattended.
There is a reason for those warning labels on them. Still, they are a huge perpetrator for uncontrolled blazes, particularly during the winter holiday season.
Something else that people really hate to hear is that our electronic devices all have the potential to spark and erupt in flames.
However, it is good to note that for the most part, they are caused by lights getting too hot and overheating.
If your home does not have the electricity wired properly, that can also cause problems, so it is a good idea to have an inspection from an electrician at least once every few years.
Appliances are another common perpetrator. I know that my grandmother always cautions me about the dryer in particular.
For a long time, I wondered if that was just an old wives’ tale, but unfortunately it is not. A lot of house fires are started by unattended home appliances.
As far as Toledo fire damage goes, another unfortunate cause is from smoking. If a cigarette, or even the butt of one is left in an ashtray that is then left unattended, it can result in tragedy.
It is sadly easy to lose track of them and to make sure they are put out properly. So, that is why this is such a common place we can trace them back to.
A final point I would like to touch upon in this section is a bit broad, but generally speaking, it is best not to leave children around anything that could be potentially flammable.
Accidents and mistakes happen. In these cases, though, it can be fatal. So, I would advise you not to leave anything dangerous like matches within reach of children, especially if they are going to be on their own.
Undoubtedly, this is one of the most difficult parts of having this happen in our homes. No matter how the blaze starts, it can destroy a home quickly and with violent force.
There is a high chance that you will lose most of your belongings, and in the worst-case scenarios, there is a loss of life.
No matter the scope of what you are contending with, cleaning up after can be incredibly difficult.
While there are resources out there such as this example, https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/fire/cleaning-up-after-fire.html, they are not always available to us. What else can we do?
Something to prioritize is eliminating, or at least mitigating, any of the remaining smoke or ash that is withing the structure. Just the scent of it can drive some people into coughing fits.
That is especially true for anyone with a pre-existing condition like asthma. It can cause serious issues, so it is best to clear that out as soon as possible.
How can we remove it? Well, soot can generally be cleaned up with normal strength soaps. However, if the problem is too big for us to handle, remediation services exist in most places.
Toledo is no exception to that, so keep that in mind if you are trying to undertake a restoration following an uncontrolled blaze.
I think a lot of us forget that our clothes will also need to be cleaned, including the ones we were wearing at the time of the incident.
Ash and soot have a way of permeating a lot of our items, and it is not healthy to breathe it in all of the time. In fact, it can even be a causing factor for respiratory issues in the future.
There are a few other points that I would like to highlight. As far as drywall and insulation go, usually that is best left to professionals.
You may want to invest in some preventative measures to help stop this from happening again, too. Other personal belongings like pots and pans should be cleaned with soapy water before you use them again.
Otherwise, you might be consuming particles that would really not be ideal to do so with. As you are progressing through a cleanup, it is generally a good idea to wear personal protective gear as well.
At minimum I would say wear some sort of face mask to minimize the ash that you are breathing in.
Dealing with a fire in our houses is a harrowing experience. That is why trying to prepare we and learning about how to handle the aftermath is so important.