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College Fire Damage Recovery
By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff
When fires occur at college or university campuses, the damage left behind can be severe. Classes may be destroyed and interrupt curriculums, administrative facilities may be damaged resulting in loss of records and vital documents, or dormitories may be burned out and displaced hundreds of students from their living spaces. In any scenario, college fire damage has the potential to be a major problem.
With any case involving a fire, the secret to college fire damage recovery is to begin the fire damage restoration process as soon as possible. This allows a head start on getting the damaged area repaired and restored, and also prevents any long-term complications from arising.
Beginning Steps to Recovery
For starters, the area must be determined to be safe. Fire can seriously compromise the structural integrity of any building, and labs, dorms, and offices are no exception. Utilities such as power and gas should be shut off, since both electricity and gas are capable of sparking additional fires. These utilities should be shut off at the source and this should be done before anyone is allowed to enter the area.
Smoke and soot cause a great deal of damage, so windows and doors should be opened to allow air to circulate, removing smoke odor and cutting down on the amount of soot in the air. Air filters should be changed regularly during this time as they will quickly become saturated with smoke and soot; in most cases damp cheesecloth placed over air vents will help catch much of the errant soot in the atmosphere.
Anyone working in this area should dress appropriately, with boots, heavy duty gloves, eye protection, and a respirator to protect from smoke or other toxic fumes that may have been created as a result.
Items will need to be separated and their condition determined; should they be thrown out or can they be restored? Many times a professional will have to make this determination. No appliances or electrical components should be operated until they have been inspected and approved.
Sprinkler systems may have been activated, which means that you will most likely be dealing with water damage as well. Any standing water will need to be removed and all surfaces dried out completely in order to avoid problems such as mold growth.
In most cases of fire damage, it is recommended that you contact your local fire damage restoration professional since they are properly trained and equipped to handle even the largest cases of college fire damage, from minor lab fires to situations involving major blazes affecting multiple facilities. They will know how to best assess the situation and devise a course of action for repair and restoration of the property with minimal disruption of class time or school operations.
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