Fire Damage: What You Should Know After a Fire

Everyone understands the immediate danger of a fire. Whether it is in your home, restaurant, apartment building, or commercial property, we all know that it must be extinguished right away. Fewer people understand the risks to your safety and health that are present after the fire is out. 

Fire damaged structures, burned contents, smoke smells, soot, ash, and dirty water are often left behind after a fire, and each can cause big problems. These are not issues that you should tackle alone – a fire damage restoration professional help is critical. In this article, we will explain the potential problems in more detail, and how property owners in Northern Illinois can get the help they need after a fire.

Post-Fire Risks at Your Home or Business

Breathing and Lung Problems

Even after the fire is out and the smoke is gone, the chemicals given off by a fire can linger in your home or business for several weeks. Smelly damage permeates the walls and travels through ductwork, contaminating parts of your property that weren’t directly impacted by the fire. Musty odors from mold growth can start if the water damage (from extinguishing the fire) isn’t dealt with right away. Breathing in all of these contaminants can cause coughing, shortness of breath, asthma attacks, nose bleeds, and even infections like bronchitis

Skin and Eye Irritation

Ash, smoke, and other residue left behind after a fire can cause rashes and other skin reactions. Touching furniture or wearing clothing that was present during the fire, and rubbing your eyes with contaminated hands can cause skin and eye irritation, inflammation, redness, and watering. 

Food Safety After a Kitchen Fire

Kitchens are the most common place for fires to break out, and fires in restaurants are common: Up to 1500 fires in restaurants are reported to US fire departments each year. Smoke, heat, and toxic firefighting and sprinkler chemicals will contaminate food, making it unsafe to eat after the fire. 

Long-Term Health Risks After A Fire

Soot, smoke and other chemicals left behind from burning plastic, foam, wood, fabric, and other materials may potentially cause long-term problems like an increased risk for cancer, heart attacks and strokes. 

Potential Structural Issues

dangers after a fire

Post-fire dangers can also come from changes to your physical property. Damaged utilities like exposed electrical wires and broken gas lines can be dangerous, and fire-damaged structures or buildings may also be unstable. Weak, structurally damaged properties can collapse without warning.

Sometimes, extinguishing a fire can cause additional damage. Broken windows, doors and any other holes in your structure will need to be secured right away in order to keep both your community and property safe. 

How to Keep Everyone Safe After A Fire 

Fires are unexpected and overwhelming, but there are a few steps you can take right away to ensure that your home or business can get back to normal as soon as possible. Here is what Lake County home, business, and rental property owners need to do. 

#1 – Contact your insurance agent. They will tell you how to prepare for the next steps, and can give you details on what your insurance policy will cover, including fire damage restoration and reconstruction services. 

#2 – Contact a trusted, local fire damage restoration contractor. Here at McMahon Services, we have crews available 24/7 to dispatch to your Northern Illinois home or business location for fire and smoke damage cleanup, emergency board-up services, reconstruction, and remodeling, roofing, and siding services

Mold, smoke, and soot residue are difficult to safely remove. With our professional expertise, we can often restore even porous products such as drywall, carpet, wood, and textiles. A fast response and expert knowledge will save you both time and money in restoring your property after a fire. Most importantly, you will know that your family, residents, customers and employees will be safe when they re-enter your property. 

At McMahon Services & Construction, we offer FREE fire damage restoration inspections and FREE estimates to residential and commercial customers in our Chicago, Arlington Heights, Berwyn, Des Plaines, Evanston, Mount Prospect, Grayslake, Mundelein, Libertyville, Oak Park, Palatine, Wheaton, Naperville, Waukegan, Schaumburg, Skokie, and surrounding IL service areas. Don’t hesitate to call us and find out how we can help!