Q: How can I safely inspect my house after fire damage?
A: Dangers may still exist even when the fire is extinguished. Do not endanger yourself or your family after a fire event. Keep children and pets away. Try to protect yourself and your family from stress, fatigue, and fire-related health hazards such as smoke and dust particles.
Follow these basic safety rules:
- Determine Structural Stability
- Check Power Supply
- Recheck The Property
- Wet Down Debris
- Discard Hazardous Material Safely
- Use protective gear
Q: How can I estimate the extent of the damage?
A: Start with a closer inspection of the property to assess the fire damage to the exterior. Only if determined safe, walk around the building and lot to observe and gather information. Now enter the structure. Taking extreme precautions, start from the top and document the damage. To get a better estimate and documentation, you should call a professional.
Q: What are grease fires and how can I fight grease fires?
A: A grease fire occurs when oil or greasy foods are heated and ignite. The simplest way to fight a grease fire is to carefully slide a lid over the pan. Do not fight grease fires with water because water causes the grease to splatter and the fire to spread.
- Smart Tip: Baking soda can be used to suffocate grease fire.
- Safety Tip: Do not try to take a grease fire outdoors. The pan will be too hot to carry.
Q: What are the safety rules to prevent fire in the kitchen?
A: There are 5 basic safety rules you must remember while cooking in the kitchen:
- Keep pot handles turned inward, away from the edge of the stove.
- If possible, don’t wear long sleeves. Long loose sleeves, hanging over the stove while cooking, are likely to catch fire.
- Be sure to supervise the oven or gas and to turn them off when not needed.
- Place fabrics such as towels and dish rags away from a gas or electric range.
- Safely store flammable liquids such as gasoline and cleaning fluids away from any fire or heat sources.
Q: How can I test my smoke detector and how often should I do it?
A: Smoke detectors should be tested once a month. The simplest test is to press the test button on your detector and check that it beeps loudly. It is also important to test the batteries and replace them every 6 months.
Q: Do I have to throw out food after a fire?
A: No. however, you will have to be very careful when dealing with food. Throw food if it is burnt or if it has been exposed to heat, smoke or soot. In addition, do not use any canned foods if the can has bulged, is badly dented or has rusted.
You can keep refrigerated food if your refrigerator was not damaged in the fire. Your refrigerator will keep cold for 4 hours if it is well sealed. In case that the power was turned off during the fire and the refrigerator was turned off for more than 4 hours, discard the food.
Frozen food can be used if it still has ice crystals on it and if it still feels cold and hard. Whenever in doubt, discard the food.