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University Fire Damage Recovery
By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff
Devise an Emergency Plan
When fires happen at universities, student life may be disrupted, classes and curricula may be put on hold, and vital records and other data may be lost. As with any case of fire or other major disaster, it is important to begin the recovery and restoration process as soon as possible. Prompt action may serve to prevent long term problems and additional damage scenarios.
To begin, no one should make any attempt to enter a fire damaged area until the fires have been extinguished and the all clear given by local fire officials. Gas and electricity to the area should be shut off at the source in order to prevent problems such as electrocution or reignition of the blaze. Structural stability should be verified in order to avoid injuries or fatalities due to total or partial collapse of the building.
Initially, there should be as much air circulation throughout the damaged area as possible. Windows and doors should be opened and fans or blowers utilized to get air moving and get rid of the smoke and soot. Remember that soot will thoroughly clog air filters, so these should be changed regularly throughout the repair process until the filter shows no evidence of soot residue. Upholstered furniture and draperies may have to be professionally cleaned and treated in order to fully remove smoke odor.
Water damage may also occur as a result of fire, since water is used to put fires out, so make sure all standing water is cleaned up and everything dried out in order to prevent subsequent problems such as mold from occurring.
All damaged or loose items should be removed from the area since they can be cleaned up and repaired elsewhere without inhibiting other repair efforts. Your local restoration professionals can be of invaluable service when it comes to determining what items can be salvaged and what should be replaced.
All evidence of smoke and soot damage and stains will need to be removed from walls, ceilings, and flooring. Non-water-based cleaners are preferable for this purpose and may be obtained from any cleaning supply house.
Smoke odor may be deep-seated and as a result be almost impossible to remove. Professional restoration sources may be the best choice for complete smoke odor removal, as they have the tools and procedures in place for dealing with just this sort of problem. In many cases, not all of the smoke residue can be removed and affected surfaces may have to be sealed in order to prevent smoke odor from becoming a lingering problem.
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