How do you get back up and running after a fire? Understanding the process required to get your factory ready to run again after a fire is an essential part of any emergency preparation plan and of course, it’s essential if you’re dealing with an existing fire event. At Cornerstone, we work with insurance firms and directly with businesses affected by fire. As a result, we’ve worked on the whole process from emergency preparedness plans through the emergency itself to the final reconstruction touches. Below we’ll give a brief overview of the factory fire recovery process
At Cornerstone, we emphasize safety above all else and, once the fire services and emergency response crews have given permission for us to enter a property, we will begin the work of ensuring the structure is safe for the restoration works to proceed. This includes electrical safety testing; gas supply and pipework testing; dealing with hazardous chemicals; boarding up and securing the property.
Urgent contents assessments
Working with knowledgeable specialists as required, we can undertake urgent contents assessments where required. This may be essential to prevent ongoing further damage to items in the factory such as machinery which may well have been exposed to the elements. By prioritizing the contents assessment, it is often possible to protect items from further damage until they can be properly salvaged.
Assessing fire damage
Fire damage can be typically divided into 2 main categories: smoke damage and heat damage. In addition, extinguishing the fire can lead to further damage as all items may be soaked with water, covered with foam or both. Finally, if the roof has been breached, freezing temperatures and weather ingress can also cause further damage. This is particularly problematic for factory floor machinery as most technologies will be affected by one or more of either smoke, fire, water and foam. In addition, factories tend to have large open spaces which means that even a small or quickly contained fire may cause smoke damage to sensitive equipment throughout the building.
Cleaning, drying and repair
Assessments are essential not only for the insurers, but also to allow the business owner and managers to make a recovery plan. This may include moving machinery off-site or using part of a space where and if it is safe to do so. Once the assessment has been complete, we can begin cleaning and drying the property.
At Cornerstone, we tailor our offering to meet our customers’ needs therefore, we may simply clean the property and remove fire damaged items and debris or, we may project manage a full reinstatement process. In either case, our teams are trained to deal appropriately with any salvageable materials and machinery as well as paperwork, books and other confidential information. When we work with a business, we aim to have them back on their feet as soon as possible.