Fires can be devastating even when no one is hurt. Seeing a building damaged, whether it be from minor smoke damage or complete destruction, can be very distressing for the owners, especially when it is a company’s office and is affecting their business. The primary objective for most people is to return the damaged property to its pre-incident condition without compromising the environment and health and safety, resultant secondary damage and within a pre-specified timescale and costs. Here are our 5 recommend steps you should consider to achieve this:
If you are a tenant in the building you will need to make sure that the owner is aware of the fire and damage. If you are the owner the first thing to do after your property has been involved in a fire is to contact your insurance company, to commence the insurance claim as quickly as possible. The buildings insurance should cover the costs of repairing the property and if you have contents insurance this will cover the cost of replacing and repairing any furniture or appliances in the building within the specific policy cover.
2. Call a Restoration Company
With acknowledgement from the insurer the next thing to do is to call a fire restoration company to give you an assessment of the property and any affected contents. It is important to do this as quickly as possible, so that the prevailing damage doesn’t lead to further deterioration. Do not enter the building unless you have been told that it is ok to do so by the emergency services or a professional company. After the professionals have assessed the situation they will be able to derive a plan of how to best restore the building and/or contents, determine how long it will take and how much it will cost. Any possessions that you want to keep will likely need to be removed and put into safe storage, with some companies offering this in their restoration services.
3. Restoration begins
The first thing the restoration company will do will be to make sure anything that could be causing further damage is a priority and dealt with quickly. This willalso ensure the building is completely secure before they continue with the works. For example, if the fire has resulted in a hole in the roof, they will make sure this is sealed in order to prevent any further damage, by inclement weather but also, any residual soot particles can lead to secondary deterioration of surfaces they reside upon.
4. The clean up
Once the initial decontamination has taken place to arrest any further deterioration, an assessment and drying of any water damage from busrt or leaking pipes or from extinguishing the fire will be undertaken. These areas will be dried and sanitised to minimise any potential heath issues and will include the eradication of residual odours as a result of the fire. This could include dealing with fabrics and/or hard surfaces. The clean up process will include noting, listing and disposing of any items are deemed beyomg economical repair.
The next stage is to repair and restore the affected contents. Most restoration companies will take care of any dry cleaning and washing of fabrics around the home. If possessions are damaged beyond economical repair, the restoration company will advise your insurer so that any replacements can be secured. There are occasions where the damage restoration company can undertake timely structural repairs also and this will be in line with instructions from your insurance company.
Cornerstone can provide a professional evaluation and report for restoration or replacement with associated costs for damaged structural and contents materials typically based on the resultant surfaces conditions, post-fire conditions and any pre-existing conditions.
Our reliable service delivery encompasses:
- Emergency call out – electrics assessments / boarding up
- Structural cleaning – preventing secondary damage
- Structural drying – dealing with the extinguishing of a fire and the reactive outcome with soot particulate
- Fabrics and general contents – dry cleaning to off-site storage
- Specialist assessments of contents – fine art / document retrieval and storage / period furniture
- Full reinstatement (reconstruction) – where requested