The fire is out, and the smoke has cleared. The fire department is gone, and the home owners are left with a disaster on their hands. It is important to have a professional mitigation company that can meet the required professional standards in service while recognizing the importance of extending true compassion and understanding.
After a fire is extinguished, a homeowner's first obligation is to call the insurance company. This is most likely the first, and probably the only time, they will have to deal with this type of situation. They are distraught, stressed and traumatized. They need help.
So, what do you say to them? What suggestions can you make to begin the process of not only restoring their property, but also helping to restore their lives?
Safety is always the first concern. You want to ensure that the homeowner does not enter and walk around in the structure, which could expose them or other occupants to hazards. This can be a problem because smoke darkens the structure and obstructs the view of identifiable safety concerns. There may be compromised structural components, falling debris or even electrical-safety issues. Depending on the severity of the loss, the homeowner or other occupants may need to consider leaving the building.
In addition to the structural hazards, it is also important to consider health issues, especially in exasperating any respiratory ailments or concerns of the homeowner or others living in the damaged structure. Every fire generates particles of incomplete combustion (PIC's) that remain in the air and on surfaces after the fire is out. Many of these PIC's are known as carcinogens. They range in size from 0.1 to 4.0 microns. A micron is 1/1,000,000 of a meter-takes the thickness of a dime and slices it 1,000 times! Because of their very small size, PIC's are easily inhaled.
The homeowner should consider leaving the structure, at least temporarily, especially if someone already has a known respiratory concern (infants, seniors, diabetics, asthmatics, etc.) If the homeowner decides to leave, have them secure the property to the highest extent possible. The next step is to get the professional mitigation company involved immediately! The sooner they start the restoration process, the easier it is going to be to assess, evaluate and act on the damage. The faster the response is, the greater the chance of saving property and possessions. For instance:
Plastic and marble surfaces begin to permanently stain. "The most effective way to ensure maximum service and outcome is to recommend a mitigation company you know and trust."
Metals tarnish, grout stains, fiberglass yellows and furniture yellows.
Flooring stains, fabrics are lost, and wood furniture finish is compromised.
And, the list goes on. The faster a professional can begin, the faster the occupants can return to a restored and healthy environment, and the better the homeowner can manage the loss to keep restoration costs as low as possible.
A professional mitigation company's personnel know how to allay the many concerns and fears that a homeowner has after a fire. A prompt, knowledgeable and sympathetic response will go a long way in explaining the process and assuring them of the best possible outcome. The most effective way to ensure maximum service and outcome is to recommend a mitigation company you know and trust. Explain to the homeowner that they will be contacted; then call the mitigation company with the necessary information and let them make contact. Check with your client to confirm contact, but if you've made the right referral, the company should have already made contact letting them know what to expect-and that they will be on the site in a matter of hours.
Another responsibility of the homeowner is to document the personal items they have lost and try to attach a value. Take a moment and think of all the things you would hate to lose if a fire occurred in your home. Your customers are experiencing those emotions for real. They should review what was in the affected room or rooms and begin documenting losses as soon as they are able. A professional will take the time to communicate with the insured on the processes that will take place, how their property and personal items will be protected, and work with them on getting their lives back together.
The responsibility of the professional Smoke and Fire Company includes:
• Respond rapidly to the customer
• Communicate the procedures and secure an authorization
• Scope the damage and provide a detailed estimate
• Control and contain to prevent continuing damage
• Prevent cross-contamination
• Properly clean and process the entire job
• Process and properly dispose of wastes
• Provide effective odor control
• Provide an environment ready for any final repairs
From the time the first call is received until the mitigation is complete, a professional mitigation company is essential in handling the claim and in managing the cost.
PuroClean Professional Services