Commercial properties, such as restaurants, hospitals, schools and offices, are continually at risk for fire. Flames burst out unexpectedly, especially inside commercial buildings that house a multitude of electrical appliances, equipment and people. This article provides helpful questions and answers on commercials fires and the fire damage restoration process.
What causes commercial fires?
Common causes of commercial fires include arson or human error (such as misuse of equipment or a lit cigarette). The more people that handle the equipment, even minor ones such as a coffee pot, the greater the chances of a fire.
Improperly or irregularly maintained boilers, water heaters and furnaces also spark flames in a commercial setting. Strict code regulations are often not adhered to, leading to fires. Combustible materials, like trash and paper, haphazardly strewn into the same vicinity as the boiler, furnace, or water heater are likely to trigger an explosion of flames.
Similar to the frequent lack of maintenance in commercial buildings, unmaintained electrical systems are hazardous, causing fires to blaze. Properties that are serviced by unlicensed electricians are at risk for the dangerous consequences of electrical code violations — and fire.
What steps do we take after the fire?
In the immediate aftermath of a fire, whether a major blaze or a minor warehouse flame, a property manager’s first step should be to contact the company’s insurance agent to determine coverage. Once the insurance company is informed of the outbreak of a fire, the next step is to contact a reputable fire damage restoration company.
How do we identify a qualified restorer?
Professional, local restorers are available on an emergency basis, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. An urgent response is necessary when fire damages a commercial property to prevent extensive damage to the rest of the building. A fire that burns through the walls welcomes the natural elements inside, such as rain or wild animals, which further contributes to the destruction of the property.
What can we expect from the restoration company?
The fire damage restoration team will arrive onsite within a few hours of your call. An initial inspection will be performed to assess lingering danger, such as air quality, electrical hazards and the habitability of the building itself. Damaged electrical appliances are evaluated for safe usage. Technicians may also turn off the building’s electricity until a licensed electrician evaluates the electrical power.
The restoration team will also examine the extent of the fire damage, including soot and smoke. This critical step aids the technicians in developing an effective restoration plan. The plan gives the property owner the accurate cost of restoration as well as the time it will take to fully restore the building.
How long will fire damage restoration take?
As eager as commercial property owners are to get back to business as soon as possible after the breakout of the fire, the timing of the restoration process varies according to each individual circumstance. The property owner’s contact from the restoration team will be able to gauge the timeframe of the project and provide updates as progress is made.
Should we attempt a cleanup?
The soot, smoke and toxic gases that result from a fire are difficult to clean. Smoke particles and obnoxious odors become heavily lodged into carpets, walls and furniture. The longer the soot and smoke linger along the property, the more challenging it is to remove the particles entirely.
While vacuuming with a shop vac and ventilating the space with industrial fans works minimally to reduce the aftereffects of the fire, property owners are advised to allow the fire damage restoration technicians to professionally handle the cleanup. Skilled restorers remove persistent odors with an ozone generator. Thermal fogging is also utilized to dislodge soot or smoke particles from affected items.
Will our property be returned to its original condition?
Expert fire damage restoration services will repair your fire damaged property so that it gleams even brighter than it did prior to the fire. Restoration is an important aspect of the process, but so is renovation. The most qualified restorers take their services to the next level. The commercial property’s stainless steel work spaces are professionally cleaned with safe chemical combinations to give them new life after being inundated with heavy smoke and black soot. Upholstery and carpeting are treated, bolstering the appearance of these delicate items.
Should we move possessions out of the property?
Professional restoration companies offer pack out services to address damaged goods that require cleaning off the premises. While the building itself undergoes restoration, the property inside may also require thorough sanitization. Technicians from the restoration company move the fire damaged goods to the company’s storage area to undergo further cleaning. Once the affected property is fully restored, the restoration specialists return the cleaned goods. Restoration companies also allow property owners access to the belongings housed inside the storage facility.
What can we expect once restoration is complete?
The restoration process often ends with a discussion about how to prevent future outbreaks of fire. Functional, frequently tested smoke detectors, the installation of fire sprinkling systems and the presence of fire extinguishers on every floor of the building are ideal ways to control or even prevent a fire. Employees should be made aware of fire exits and practice fire drills.
Keep the contact information of a reliable fire damage restoration service, such as ServiceMaster NCR, on hand in the event a commercial fire breaks out. Devastation by fire can unexpectedly erupt within minutes, so preparation for a mishap is recommended.
Included in the ServiceMaster NCR fire damage restoration processes are pre-cleaning of affected areas, content cleaning, content pack out, cleaning of damaged surfaces and odor removal. We utilize the highest quality cleaning chemicals, proven methods and advanced equipment to thoroughly cleanse the premises of smoke, soot and odors. ServiceMaster NCR has a record of excellence with the insurance industry.
ServiceMaster NCR is proud of its 28 years of service to the Washington DC metro community of businesses and residential areas. Our dedicated team members stand by to take emergency calls 24 hours a day, every day of the year.