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If your house is on the market, or you are the agent trying to sell the house, I have a few tips on how to avoid fire, smoke and soot damage. The easiest way to get the most trusted information about fire safety is by visiting or contacting your local fire department. They have lots of information about protecting your home. But the tips that I'd like to share are about the small things, the everyday items we use that we overlook or forget about that can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage. I see smoke, soot and fire damage in my work on a weekly basis. Many of the events could have been prevented with simple maintenance or advice. And I have to admit, much to my embarrassment, that with all of the knowledge that I have aquired through working in the restoration industry, it didn't protect my own parents house from a soot and smoke disaster that could have turned into a massive fire. Why? Because even I didn't know the tips I'm about to pass on to you.
So, to keep the story short, I received a call from my father who said that they had a bit of an "incident" the night before. He said that there was a lot of smoke and soot damage. I raced over to find that the source of the problem was in the living room. My father had fallen asleep on the couch and awoke to find the surge protector that was connected to his salt water fish tank had flames shooting out of it. Fumbling around in the dark, he raced over to the source of the flames, grabbed the surge protector with his bare hands and ripped it out of the wall and threw it out the front door. He said the room was just filled with black smoke but luckily nothing else had caught on fire. The soot and smoke damage was pretty extensive considering the only thing that caught on fire was the surge protector, but the soot traveled throughout the first level of his home. First things first, we were all so happy that my parents were safe, my dads hand was burned but he was okay. Then, we wanted to know how a surge protector that wasn't overloaded, failed so miserably. The insurance adjuster had the device sent out for more investigating and in the end, the firemen and adjuster agreed that the surge protector was a relatively less expensive model and should have been replaced a few years prior to the incident.
With that story told, that's the first part of my tip....
-Replace your surge protectors every few years - I was told by several insurance adjusters and firemen that we should be replacing all of our surge protectors every few years.
- Never buy those "dollar store" or "bargain basement" surge protectors - They have found that the cheaper power strips and surge protectors did not perform as well or as safe as the more expensive ones. Mind you, I am not saying this with some major university study as my backing or source. I received this advice from the people that see this kind of damage all of the time. Invest a little more money in your surge protectors and power strips. It could be the difference between a safe home and an unsafe home.
- Purchase with thought - There are surge protectors that are specifically designed for different applications. I found strips that were only for computers, t.v.'s, and other electronic equipment. Find the surge protector that best suits the items that you have in that particular room.
- Un-Plug a few - Don't overload your power strips and surge protectors. You shouldn't have plugs plugged into plugs. C'mon, you know what I'm talking about, you know, that octopus that's under your desk or behind the big flat screen t.v. It looks terrible and more importantly, its extremely dangerous. I know that there is a temptation to sometimes plug another power strip into the already existing strip, making a train of sorts. You might think, hey, now i have twice as many plugs, but its a really bad idea. Again, its dangerous and not worth taking a risk with your home or family.
So now you know. Smoke and soot damage can be just as costly as fire damage. My parents home is back to normal now. I did the remediation job myself. There are no signs that anything was ever damaged. But the lesson that we learned will always stick with us. It could have been so much worse. Thank goodness it wasn't.
Tips and advise from Bowerman Restoration, a top rated professional disaster clean up, remediation & damage restoration company located in Hartsdale, NY 10530, on how to undo & repair damages caused by water, floods, storms, sewage spills, mildew, mold, fires, smoke and soot to your home or place of business.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.