Fire Damage Cleanup for Warehouses
Since warehouses are mostly just one big room, even a tiny spark in one corner can spread and lead to significant damage throughout a warehouse. A warehouse fire leads to material damage and causes a lot of stress and obstruction in one’s business. Moreover, the process of damage cleanup can also be time-consuming.
If you have suffered damage to your goods from a warehouse fire, here are the steps you need to take for efficient cleanup:
Call the Insurance Company
Since it’s a requirement by law for all businesses to have insurance, we assume you will have it for your business. If you don’t have business insurance for some reason, you might mentally prepare yourself to deal with the effects for a long time. However, in case of having your business insured, you should immediately call the insurance company. The insurance company will send their team to assess the damage and give you an estimated coverage cost soon, which might help you feel better.
Seal the Property
Fire Damage is difficult to access. The damage can spread even after the fire is extinguished. Any spark or burning soot can restart the fire. However, before beginning the process of damage cleanup, you need to stop the damage. You can do this by sealing the property. Oxygen is essential for anything to burn. When you seal the property, you essentially cut off the oxygen supply into the warehouse, which will cause any remaining spark to die out.
Disconnect Energy Connections
According to National Fire Protection Association, about 2 of every five fires in warehouses across the US start by malfunctioning energy outlets. These statistics make disconnecting power outlets a necessary step of fire damage cleanup. Disconnecting all power outlets and sealing the property will make sure that there are no sources of restarting fire left in the warehouse.
Make Arrangements for Incoming Shipments
After sealing the property, you need to focus on any incoming shipment of containers, raw materials, or finished products for a while. You should never place new material goods in a warehouse that has experienced fire damage before damage cleanup. Soot and smoke remaining from a fire can severely harm the quality of new products.
If you cannot find another place to store the incoming materials, inform your dealers about the unfortunate accident and request them to hold on to the incoming shipments for a while.
If you’re a dealer yourself, ask your customers, i.e., buyers, to cooperate with you as you try to get them a new shipment as soon as possible. If you’re a business that deals with customers directly, post on social media about the cause of the delay and ask your customers to be patient with you as you try to fulfill their orders. You might lose a few customers in both cases, but you might also find a surprising amount of support.
Discard Damaged Goods
While you might feel tempted to salvage any remaining goods, discarding anything affected by fire damage can be a wise decision. Smoke and soot can linger on and pose a threat of starting another fire or, worse, damaging health. It can be very tricky to deal with fire-damaged goods.
They may contain slow-burning soot despite all the measures of putting out the fire. Ensure proper disposal of the goods by following the instructions. If you don’t know the instructions, you can find them out from dealers and manufacturers.
You wouldn’t want to deal with another fire and suffer another significant loss in the hopes of saving some money. Therefore, it’s best to throw out all the goods inside the warehouse at the time of the fire.
Clean Up the Debris
Once you have properly disposed of the goods, you can move on with the damage cleanup process. Clean up any remaining debris of goods or soot spread out on the floor. Sweeping and collecting debris and soot can help make the cleanup easier.
Call a Restoration Company
You may be tempted to DIY the restoration process. However, if you don’t have any construction experience, we highly suggest calling a restoration company. Many restoration services, such as the 911 Restoration of Austin, provide thorough cleanup and restoration services for personal and commercial properties.
Seeking professional help can free up a lot of your time and enable you to focus on managing the business instead of dealing with everything at once. It will also save you from the possibility of contracting health issues from mishandling smoke or soot. Inhaling smoke or soot can cause several lung diseases, such as bronchitis, asthma, and coronary heart diseases. Exposure of skin or eyes to soot can make them irritated. In severe cases, soot exposure can also cause cancer of the lungs and skin.
If you don’t want the restoration to exceed a specific budget limit, you can always inform the restoration company about it. They will be able to guide you on how to go about it in your budget.
Finally, don’t forget to install safety features in the warehouse during the restoration process. Ensuring strong electric cables, such as copper cables and automatic sprinklers, can significantly reduce the chances of and contain future fires. Moreover, regular maintenance of power outlets and cables can also reduce the risk of fire damage in the warehouse.