Sprinklers may save a building from a fire, but cause a new disaster
When there is a fire in a building, the sprinkler system and firefighters’ efforts can be a saving grace. However, if the sprinklers went off in your home or office, would you run inside the building to gather items that would be irreplaceable if damaged by water? Did you know that you do not have to risk your life and safety for fear that precious books, photos and documents may get wet?
Although fire sprinklers can help slow the spread of a fire in a building, they can also cause water damage to electronic equipment, walls, carpets and so on. To help address this problem, “The Washington Post” suggests placing valuables in plastic zipper bags and storing them on the lower levels of a building, off the floor. However, the plastic zipper bags will only do so much if they burn in a fire.
While storing items in plastic bags is not a horrible idea, there are other steps people can take in a home or office to prevent water and fire damage from occurring to important documents and personal items in the event of a fire.
The first is to invest in a water and fireproof file cabinet and/or safe and use it. Store your important documents and personal items in a file cabinet or safe on a daily basis. These items can include deeds, photograph negatives, contracts, books and other things of value. Learn other water and fire-damage prevention techniques.
Second, purchase flood insurance. With flood insurance, you will have the funds to help replace water-damaged equipment, repair a wet building and restore wet books, wet documents and wet photographs.
Third, have the number of a professional restoration specialist on file. These professionals can help dry, remediate and restore wet and fire- or smoke-damaged items quickly and securely. Calling in a restoration specialist should be part of every business’ recovery plan.