Complete Initial Fire Mitigation Services
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Your goal in completing initial mitigation services after a fire loss is to minimize ongoing damage to the structure and contents.
Step 1: Ensure the structure is safe to enter
Make sure that any structural damage has been assessed by the fire crews on site and that you are cleared to enter the building. Don appropriate PPE.
Step 2: Remove charred, unsalvageable materials to minimize smoke odor contamination
This will help to eliminate odors and prevent additional staining of salvageable materials.
Step 3: Understand the differences for mitigation between fires put out by water and those that burned out without water
Put Out by Water - If the fire was put out by the fire department and water was used, mitigation will be needed.
- This loss will be treated as a Cat-3 and any damaged material will be removed.
- Any standing water will need to be extracted and drying equipment will be put into place.
- Damaged non-porous items will be removed and discarded, as the mixture of water and soot will become toxic and cause staining.
Fire Burned Out (No Water) - If the fire put itself out and water was not used, mitigation will be different than if water is used.
- This will be more of a heavy cleaning.
- All surfaces will need to be wiped down and cleaned.
- This will need to be done quickly before oxidation can set in, turning non-porous items yellow and creating the need for replacement.
- Chem sponges will be utilized to wipe walls and surfaces.
Step 4: Vacuum soot from horizontal surfaces
Step 5: Perform early deodorization
The contents will be cleaned and deodorized, then returned to the home.
- Take care not to cause additional damage.
Step 6: Deodorize surfaces and contents
Deodorants are produced in liquid, solid, and gel forms. Liquids may be water-based, solvent-based or heavy-duty ("dry") solvent. Select which deodorant to use based on the type of smoke residue and the type of material. Most of these agents are concentrated and need to be properly diluted for safe and effective use. Measure properly and follow the labels!
Odor removal should begin in the room where the fire originated.
Apply a water-based deodorant to the floor surfaces using a compression sprayer. Then, use a fogger to counteract odors in the air. Contact and advise appropriate agencies before doing this step (ex. police, fire, etc.). Post obvious warning signs.
Step 7: Perform a content pack-out
The contents will be cleaned and deodorized, then returned to the home. Take care not to cause additional damage.