If there’s a fire breakout on your home, the first thing to do is to contact 911 for assistance and to ensure that your home is evacuated. It doesn’t matter whether it’s your home or office, you need to make sure that the occupants of the building are evacuated and safe. If you manage to contact the emergency services in time, they will put the fire under control, and now it will be the time to assess the damage.
This brings us to one question—how do you handle fire damaged appliances when the fire has been put under control? Typically, most of these appliances will have smoke and soot damage, which is common in such scenarios. However, you shouldn’t fret anymore, as we shall give you 6 tips on how to handle these appliances.
Disconnect the appliances from power
This is the first thing to do when handling fire damaged appliances. The reason being—you don’t know the extent of the damage, and whether the appliance will function when you switch it on. Moreover, this prevents any additional damage to the appliance, since some of the components might not function properly as a result of the damage. Using a fire damaged appliance without having it inspected can lead to short circuits, or cause permanent damage.
Wear protective gear
Since fire damaged appliances can produce dangerous and harmful chemicals, it’s always a good idea that you wear protective gear when handling them. This also applies to handling appliances with soot after the fire has been put out. When cleaning the smoke damage on these appliances, the process can release soot particles to the air, and this can cause irritation to your skin and eye. Moreover, inhaling these particles can trigger asthmatic attacks on people to people with this condition.
At times, the chemicals used to clean smoke damaged appliances can be harmful to your health, just like the smoke and harmful materials released by the damaged appliance.
Here are some of the gear to wear when handling fire damaged appliances:
- Protective clothing that covers your skin—this can be shirts, long pants, and shoes, among others.
- Face Mask or respirator to filter the harmful chemicals from the air you breathe
- Gloves to protect your hands against chemical exposure
- Goggles to prevent stray splashes and soot from your eyes
Also, wearing protective gear helps you to avoid hurting yourself when handling damaged appliances.
Begin as soon as possible
The more the time you allow soot and smoke damage to set, the harder it shall be to clean out your appliances. This can make your smoke restoration process very hard to achieve. At times, if you don’t address this problem early in advance, the stains from the soot can become permanent.
Moreover, the nasty odor from the appliances is an indication that you are breathing in the soot particles from the appliance—and this can be very dangerous to anyone living in the house. Anyone with respiratory problems can suffer a serious asthmatic attack—which can lead to death. Therefore, the sooner you start cleaning up the damaged appliance, you will have a reduced risk of health complications.
Leave everything to the professionals
Anyone who provides appliance repair services has the required experience to handle fire damaged appliances. Mostly, fire damaged appliances can be tricky to handle, especially when the smoke has already seeped into the appliance. For your safety, you should never tackle any fire-damaged appliance on your own—if you don’t have the necessary experience.
Since most of your appliances require electricity to run, you cannot determine how badly they were damaged after the fire has been put out. However, hiring an appliance repair technician can help in determining whether your appliances can be salvaged and cleaned or not. If the appliances can be restored, the technician will repair them on-site, or take them to their facility for repairs.
Experts from the Hartman’s Jacksonville appliance repair say that inspecting fire damaged appliances is essential. Most appliances are a bit resilient, and they can withstand a certain degree of heat and smoke damage. However, others are prone to humidity and heat damage, and that’s why you should consider ordering an inspection to check whether they are repaired or need to be replaced. The cost of repairing or replacing a fire damaged appliance should be the major determinant with the decision that you will make. However, if your appliances were outdated, consider getting new ones, which are energy efficient.
Change all the filters
This is very important, particularly for your air conditioner, kitchen, bathroom, and furnace fans and vents, as there’s a possibility that they are already covered in smoke and soot. Also, you can use a vacuum cleaner with a strong suction power to clean around these appliances, where soot might have likely collected. Then finish the cleaning process by wiping the reachable areas with a damp cloth to clean the soot.