White goods appliances - mainly washing machines and tumble dryers - account for as many as 60 house fires a week in the UK alone according to Which? The number of fires has increased each year for five years. Which? wants the authorities to tackle the issue of fire damaged properties due to appliance failure
Frighteningly, Halloween & Bonfire season see a sharp spike in fires and theft related crime. Making a claim and dealing with an Insurance company can be scary, fire damage insurance claims are a nightmare. It is common for people let their guard down and open their properties up to welcome trick and treaters.
Unless you are in the industry, most will be unaware of the toxicity of smoke. It’s not just heat that causes damage. Temperatures in even the smallest of fires regularly exceeds 1000 degrees centigrade. Smoke is insidious and remains a big problem long after a fire has been extinguished.
Fire and smoke damage is extremely destructive, and is one of the most unpleasant things you can experience
Fire and smoke damage is very complex, and this should be considered when it comes to fire and smoke repairs. As well as the smoke, you normally have to contend with water damage emanating from fire brigade hoses used to extinguish the flames. This can often cause more damage than a fire itself. The associated problems of fire and smoke damage may go beyond the surfaces, walls and ceilings to issues that are not detectable just by looking.
If the smoke or water has been absorbed into the building’s superstructure, these will require more than cleaning. Identifying this is critical and requires specialist knowledge and equipment.
Smoke will ruin furniture, textiles, upholstery and electrical items. Some items can be restored however more than likely anything damaged will usually have to be replaced. Smoke leaves an acidic film on surfaces. Very often a chemical reaction occurs when the smoke particles are airborne. Chlorides from plastics that have burnt mix with hydrogen in the air to become hydrogen chloride and we all know the corrosive potential of this compound. Any surfaces damaged by smoke that is left untreated will compromise the very integrity of your structure. Smoke damage causes discoloration and leaves an unpleasant odour.
Different types of materials burning release a multitude of toxins that become airborne. Spiders webs are a great way to see the particles as these stick to the webs and are jet black. The oily film you feel on all the surfaces is acidic and harmful. It may react your skin and can cause irritation.
A smoked property is unsafe. Let’s be clear, until it has been decontaminated the potential exists for serious harm. Most of the toxins present are known carcinogens. Smoke damage clean-ups must be undertaken by professionals and requires specialist knowledge and cleaning equipment.
Ventilate the property. Remove any radical particles that remain airborne/. Open your windows and doors.
This is the maximum you can do. The odour and contaminates will not get any better than this achieves.
Smoke damage cleaning products react with the smoke residue as they attack the soot, creating fumes that can be harmful to your respiratory system. The clean-up is arduous and a complicated process that involves a specific sequence of steps. It is impossible to remove 100% of the smoke particles and anything whereby the ability to clean is reduced, should be replaced.
Having a disaster in your home or business, is to say the least, a very traumatic experience. Fortunately you have prepared well. The good news is that you have a strong insurance policy covering you against such circumstance, you have paid your premiums on time, year after year. Unfortunately, the bad news is that the impending insurance claim you’re about to make will more often than not seem more frighting with great difficulties and stress in comparison to the actual disaster.
Oakleafe is the only party in the claim process which is on your side. Insurers appoint their own specialists to look after their interests to limit the levels of their liability. We are interested exclusively in your interests, to ensure you receive everything you are entitled to under the policy. With the experience of over 160 years going back 8 generations of family ownership, we are able to handle all of the claim process from the beginning, until the end.
Every single claim will be unique in a certain way. Whether you have experienced a Flood or a Fire & Smoke Damage, we are able to handle all aspects of the claim where we can negotiate and ensure you are returned to a pre-loss position.
Process in an Insurance Claim
After an incident your Insurance Company needs to be notified of the incident.
All policies place a responsibility on the policy holder to mitigate or prevent the damage from worsening.
Appointing An Assessor
Our experienced in-house Assessors would be assigned to your claim who will use their wealth of experience to manage all aspects of the claim.
Depending on the type of claim, a professional restoration approach would be undertaken to ensure material damage is kept to a minimum.
Scope of Specification
Charted Surveyors, Structural Engineers, Contamination Experts and other professionals prepare detailed quantification of the loss. All reports and claim documents would then be submitted to the insurer.
We will undertake all meetings, phone calls, communications and negotiations to achieve a satisfactory settlement.
Once Insurers or their representatives approve the claim we prepared and submitted to them, funds are released to enable works or professional services to commence.
If you require any information, feel free to contact us and we would be happy to help you!
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