A fire can be one of the most devastating things that can happen to a person, particularly when it tears through a family home. Obviously, the initial concern is the immediate threat to life that a fire holds – getting people to safety. Then there is controlling and putting out the fire with the help of the fire service.
Even once that is all taken care of, though, there are still plenty of issues that need to be addressed. The contents of the building will need to be assessed and salvaged wherever possible – this can be a traumatic experience for anybody. After that, the building itself, with all the fittings will need to be assessed and dealt with to make it safe.
Even after all of that, you need to consider the after effects of the fire, and the health impact that soot and smoke damage can have on a family, long after the fire has been put out. It all needs to be professionally cleaned to ensure the property is safe to live in.
When a house in Dulwich set alight, the fire quickly spread from the conservatory all the way through the entire house, causing catastrophic damage throughout the entire property. The owners acted quickly, as they knew they should. Once the fire brigade had arrived, they called Ideal Response.
The Ideal Response
The call came through to our Out Of Office phone at 7pm. Once the fire department had put the fire out and deemed the property safe to enter (the following morning) we were onsite for the fire damage cleaning in Dulwich. It had been started by a large bag of lithium batteries catching fire, although the cause of this was unknown.
Due to the severity of the damage, our first task was to arrange for an electrician and gas engineer to secure the property. The gas engineer assessed the property and reported that everything needed replacing. The electrician found that the fuse board had been completely blown out, so we asked him to install a temporary power supply in order for us to use our equipment on site.
Before we started work in full, we tested for asbestos. Samples were taken and sent off to a laboratory for testing – once the results came back a few hours later and we knew for certain that there was no asbestos and it was safe for everyone to be onsite, we could begin work.
Our work was split into three stages:
We had to completely remove all of the contents within the property. We consulted with the client so we could determine exactly which items that the family wanted us to try and salvage. This included certain valuables like jewellery and money, and we were delighted to be able to save everything on their list.
For everything else, we hired multiple skips. Such was the severity of the fire, everything had to go. Beds, clothes, wardrobes, drawers, furniture – it was all thrown away as it was all smoke damaged.
Next, we concentrated on all of the fixtures and fittings. Once again, almost everything had to be removed. The kitchen was completely stripped out, and the flooring and carpets all had to be pulled up and removed. Even some walls had to be taken down.
Fortunately, we were able to save both of the bathrooms, so we cleaned these to a professional standard, removing all traces of soot and smoke damage.
Once everything that was irreparably damaged had been removed, we were able to begin cleaning everything that had been damaged by the smoke. We went through every inch of the house with our specialist chemicals and soot sponges.
Every wall, ceiling, rail, stair and door was carefully wiped down – nothing was left to chance, and all potential health risks were removed.
When a family goes through a traumatic experience like this, their life gets put on hold. We were aware of this and worked incredibly quickly, and throughout a bank holiday weekend, to complete our work in just two weeks. For a job this size, it was a fantastic turnaround.
The house was completely safe and clean – all reminders of the fire had been removed or cleaned with as much salvaged as possible. The house was left as a shell, a blank canvass, for them to start work on putting together their new-look home. The fire damage cleaning in Dulwich had been a success.