Fire Damage emergencies are understandably devastating, and remediation and fire damage restoration work to recover afterward can be daunting. This task can be overwhelming and beyond the ability of home or commercial property owners.

Even people with home improvement knowledge and DIY skills would still find it challenging to restore fire damage completely. Fire restoration services can properly reverse and mitigate fire damage to your property. They will ensure you get your home and business premises back to their pre-loss condition – or even better.

It is advisable not to do the remediation process yourself and put yourself at risk of illness, injury, or making the situation worse than before. Immediately after a fire, it is imperative for you, your family, and your employees to evacuate the building.

No one should attempt to re-enter it until an emergency service professional declares it safe and hazard-free. Beyond the obviously fallen masonry, charred furniture, and blackened walls-fire damage can be hidden; making it hard for you to spot.

Why should I not live in or re-enter a fire-damaged building?

Fire causes damage by heat (melting metal and plastic) and combustion (burning up things), and efforts to extinguish it could cause more damage. Extinguishing a fire may involve breaking windows and doors for access and large volumes of water, foam, and firefighting chemicals-causing visible and invisible damage.

Even a small fire can cause hidden damages to property and health risks to you, your family, and your employees.

Hidden Dangers to Health and Property in a Fire Damaged Building

In a fire, several items release dangerous chemicals when burning; These are carpets, plastics, wool, wood products, fabrics, and materials containing asbestos. Burning materials release hazardous chemicals that pose health risks after a fire.

These chemicals are:

  • Nitrogen oxide.
  • Tar.
  • Carbon monoxide.
  • Ammonia.
  • Hydrogen.
  • Halocarbons.
  • Hydrogen chloride.
  • Phosgene.
  • Bromomethane.
  • Dioxin chloromethane.

Hidden potential dangers and health risks to look out for in a fire-damaged building include:

Structural Damage

Whether your home or business premises is completely burned or just partially damaged, you need to exercise extreme caution when walking through the fire-damaged property. This is because fires destabilize roofs, ceilings, flooring, wall fixtures, and fittings, which might collapse on you- causing grievous injury or even death.

Not many structures can tolerate the combustion and heat of a fire; and even if they do (like steel joists and brickwork), they still will be structurally compromised. The fire department can establish the stability of the surviving building structure beforehand and then notify you.

If demolition is deemed necessary, it is advisable to be very far from the building because there will be a lot of dust and toxic soot in the air. Exposure to these substances can lead to developing long-term lung and eye problems.

Soot and Smoke

If you have ever been in a building where people are allowed to smoke, you know the smell lingers for a long while afterward. Wood smoke itself has chemicals that are equivalent to smoke from 100 cigarettes.

Smoke and soot lead to eye irritations, skin itchiness, and skin dryness that cannot be relieved using home remedies. Prolonged exposure to smoke leads to gasping, shortness of breath, cough, bronchitis, and other respiratory health issues linked to poor air quality. It has also been linked to stroke, heart attack, and even cancer in infants and children.

Smoke damage restoration by professional restoration experts is therefore crucial for smoke and soot removal.

Gas Leaks

Gas leaks are caused by damaged gas pipes system. Metal and plastic gas pipework in the building may not directly be affected by the flames but can be affected by the heat. Metal pipes expand and contract when heated and cooled, resulting in the seals being rendered ineffective.

The heat from the fire can also potentially damage tanks, valves, brass/ copper fillings, and other safety features in your water heating or cooking appliances. This usually applies to propane and natural gas systems. They should be inspected by a professional engineer, before being put to use again.

Mold and Mildew Infestation

The water used to douse and extinguish a fire can become a perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew spores. Mold and mildew can cause breathing issues and eye and skin irritations.

Most fire damage restoration companies are mold remediation certified and can clean out the mold, and mold spores in the fire damage restoration process, effectively preventing these health risks.

Hidden Water Damage

Sprinkler systems and fire hoses though vital for safety in a fire can cause water damage. Health hazardous water damage beyond the eye includes; hidden water pooling, water system contamination, mold growth, and damage to the electrical wiring system, heating systems., plaster, and wall structure.

Damage to Electrical wiring, Water Pipe, HVAC Systems

Plastic insulation around electrical wiring can be melted by the heat of the fire. This causes the wiring to sag or break leading to fridges, washing machines, and stoves they are connected to-which could have otherwise been unscathed by the fire – to be damaged.

What is especially dangerous is when water used to douse the fire comes into contact with naked wiring leading to the start of another fire. Internal soot deposits and faulty wiring in electricals can also cause another fire, so they should be assessed by a professional before re-use.

Even water pipes tucked behind the walls are still at risk of melting and their seals getting damaged- leading to leaks in the system. These leakages can cause extensive water damage to property.

It is, therefore, essential for fire damage restoration services to clean the ducts thoroughly to prevent toxic particulates from going back into the building through the ductwork in the future.

When requiring fire restoration after fire damage, it is vital to seek professional remediation and damage restoration services because they have the proper equipment, training, experience, and chemicals to ensure your home is safe from health hazards and your property is protected from further damage.

The Insurance company will cover the fire damage restoration cost to have the cleanup done right, so as not to have to cover additional claims because family members or employees were exposed to health risks.

Work With the Professionals

One Call Services Water Damage Experts is a fire damage restoration company based in Santa Clara, CA. For more information on Fire Damage restoration and remediation and Emergency Services, call us on the phone number (408) 716-2379 or email us at

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