5 min read
Fires can devastate any business, leaving behind so much destruction to your property and assets. As a business owner, you have to deal with both the physical damage and the disruption of operations. Only after handling these can you deal with the steps to reopening.
Rebuilding and preparing your business to open after a fire is challenging, but it’s not impossible. With proper planning and steadfast determination, you can navigate the challenges and restore your business to its former glory. Here’s a guide for cleaning after a fire and restoring your commercial establishment to its original state.
What To Do Immediately After a Fire
When a fire breaks out in your property, evacuate any people and animals calmly and immediately. If you know how to use a fire extinguisher, you can use it on minor fires. However, it’s best to leave it to professional firefighters for larger fires. Next, follow these steps:
- Ensure Everyone Is Safe: Ideally, your commercial establishment should already have fire exits, an evacuation plan, and points of contact to lead everyone to safety. Have a designated evacuation zone and have the designated point persons ensure everyone is accounted for.
- Coordinate with Involved Parties: Because of the difference in commercial versus domestic fires, additional parties may be involved in handling your business after a fire. Depending on the type of commercial property and the insurance coverage your business has, you may need to reach out to several people:
- Firefighters: They may assess fire damage and advise you on the following steps. They can provide you with a copy of their report to assist with your insurance claims.
- Law Enforcement: Your local law enforcement may investigate what started the fire on your property. They may also provide you with a copy of their report.
- Property Manager: If you are a tenant on a commercial property, get in touch with the property manager. They may want to contact their own insurance provider, so you might have to coordinate.
- Utilities and Contractors: Contact your utility service providers to turn off utilities like gas, electricity, and water. Also, contact any third-party service providers to pause their services while your operations are on hold.
- Insurance Provider: Contact your insurance agent to start the claims process. This can vary depending on your provider and the type of coverage you have. While salvaging and cleaning after a fire, document the damage to your establishment and your business equipment.
- Property Restoration: Contact a professional restoration team to deal with the immediate fire damage and secure your property. This ensures your property’s condition won’t worsen and requires more expensive repairs. They can also help you document the damage on your property.
- Secure Your Property: If some assets remain on your property, have your property secured at the entry points. Cover the doors and windows with wood and use tarps on the roof to prevent leaks that could cause water damage to your property. Your property restoration technician can handle this for you.
Salvaging Your Equipment
The safest course of action is to let a professional restoration company help you with the early stages of salvaging what you can. Once they signal that it’s safe for you to enter, you can assess which items can be salvaged – particularly things that need minor repairs or can be cleaned and reused – or which ones should be disposed of and replaced. This can involve equipment, supplies, inventory, or anything you can save from the fire’s aftermath.
Having restoration technicians with you can help streamline the process. Depending on your insurance coverage and claim, replacing an item might be more practical instead of trying to fix it. Restoration technicians can help you determine which ones are best replaced. They can also help you document the damage to improve your insurance claims.
Repairing Structural Damage
After salvaging your property, you can leave it to your restoration company to handle the restoration process. There is a difference in commercial versus domestic fires, so what goes on in the restoration process can vary depending on the type of property you have and the severity of the fire. Some of the steps your technicians can take include:
- Assessing, repairing, or replacing reinforced areas of the property, especially load-bearing areas of the property’s structural frame
- Removing and replacing damaged or weakened walls
- Addressing the cracks and other signs of fire or water damage
- Removing soot and any residual substances lingering after the fire
- Adding additional features that improve the property’s resistance and durability against fire
- Repairing and finishing the aesthetic parts of your property
Cleaning After a Fire: When Is the Best Time to Clean?
As a business owner, you might be eager to get your operations up and running once more after a fire. However, the best time to clean after a fire is after restoration technicians have restored your property and given you the signal to return to your commercial establishment. How long that takes can depend on several factors, including safety considerations, the extent of damage, and professional advice.
Restoration 1 of Kansas City Is Your Reliable Restoration Company
Recovering from a fire can be challenging for any business owner, but it is possible with the right plan and knowing who to reach out to. With careful planning, prompt action, and the assistance of professionals, it is possible to get your business running again as soon as possible.
At Restoration 1 of Kansas City, we understand the need for business owners to recover and reopen operations as soon as possible. This is why our licensed restoration technicians strive to provide quick but quality work that restores your property to a safe and sound condition. We can provide immediate emergency service to help you secure your establishment and prevent the state of your property from worsening. Afterward, we can assess your property and recommend a course of action for our fire damage restoration services.
Call Restoration 1 of Kansas City’s 24/7 emergency service line at (816) 281-6438.