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Retail Stores Fire Damage Recovery
By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff
Fire can be a game changer for any business in only a matter of minutes, ravaging the structure and causing thousands of dollars in damage and losses to inventory and product. The aftereffects may take weeks or months to recover from and it becomes important to make the correct decisions regarding fire damage recovery in the immediate hours following a fire.
In any case of fire, no structure should be entered until the flames have been put out and the okay given by fire department officials. Even then, proceeding with caution is advised. Fires may seriously compromise the structural integrity of the establishment and nobody wants to survive a fire only to have the store collapse around them during the repair process.
Smoke damage and odor will be prevalent, so doors and windows should be opened to allow air to begin circulating throughout the store. Soot will also be a problem, since it gets into pretty much everything and can clog air filters in a short amount of time. Air filters will need to be changed often during the cleanup and restoration process. Placing a piece of damp cheesecloth over the air vents will catch a lot of the soot particles and help clear the air over time.
It is of utmost importance that the gas and electricity be turned off during this time. Fire may seriously damage electrical systems and components and any gas exposed to intense heat or flame may trigger a serious explosion. Make sure these utilities are shut off at their source and they should not be turned back on until all components have been inspected by qualified electricians or HVAC technicians.
What Else is Affected in a Retail Fire?
In many retail fires, computers and other delicate equipment may have been damaged. It may be possible to recover lost files on damaged hard drives; however, time is of the essence which means you should get these hard drives into the hands of cyber recovery professionals as soon as possible.
There also remains the question of inventory damaged in the fire. Many times, damaged inventory such as clothes or other delicate items will have to be written off as a total loss, while in some cases, items such as furniture that may have only been slightly damaged can be sold through the process known as a “fire sale” (this scenario is exactly the reason that term was coined). In any case, the retail store will have to deal with the financial loss of inventory and figure that loss into its quarterly or annual financial reports.
Your local water damage restoration professionals can provide invaluable service when it comes to determining what items can be saved and what should be considered total loss. In most cases, professional restoration is the best choice for any retail store, since it provides the fastest and most efficient repair and recovery time.
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