Do not enter the damaged site until the Bryan Fire Department gives you the OK. Fires can re-ignite from hidden, smoldering remains. Normally, the fire department will see that utilities (water, electricity and natural gas) are either safe to use or are disconnected before they leave the site. Do not attempt to turn on utilities yourself. Be watchful for structural damage caused by the fire. Roofs and floors may be damaged and subject to collapse. Food, beverages and medicines (including those in your refrigerator or freezer) exposed to heat, smoke, soot and water should not be consumed.
Questions About Fire
You might ask why we break windows and doors or put holes in your roof. Fire produces smoke and hot gases, as well as temperatures well over 1200 degrees Fahrenheit. At times it is necessary to eliminate heat, smoke, and hot gases before firefighters can enter to extinguish the fire. The ventilation much be done quickly to help reduce the spread of fire and smoke damage. Often walls must be forcibly opened to check for "hidden" fires. After the fire is extinguished, the damage may appear unnecessary; however, without the use of these firefighting techniques, complete fire suppression would be extremely difficult.
Cleaning / Restoration
If insured, contact your insurance company. They may want to hire professionals to help with the cleaning and restoration. If not, here are some things you might want to consider.
Vacuum all surfaces. Change and clean air conditioner/heater filters. Seal off the room in which you are working with a plastic wrap to keep soot from moving from one location to another.
DO NOT OPERATE WET APPLIANCES.
To remove soot and smoke, mix 4-6 tablespoons of tri-sodium phosphate (available in paint store) and one (1) gallon of water. We strongly suggest the use of rubber gloves and goggles when working with this solution. Wash a small area at a time. Rinse thoroughly. Do not repaint until completely dry. It is advisable to use smoke sealer (also available in paint stores) before painting. Keep mixture away from children and pets. Wallpaper walls usually cannot be restored and must be replaced.
Do not use chemicals on furniture! A very inexpensive product called FLAX SOAP (available in hardware and paint stores) is a safe product to use on wood, including kitchen cabinets. Do not dry furniture in the sun as the wood will warp and twist out of shape.
DO NOT MIX AMMONIA AND BLEACH!
Floors / Carpets
Use FLAX SOAP on wood and linoleum floors. It will take 4-5 applications. Then strip and re-wax or treat as otherwise indicated by the manufacturer. Steam clean, shampoo, and repeat steam cleaning for carpets.
Mattresses / Pillows
If you must use your mattress temporarily, put it into the sun to dry - the cover it with plastic sheeting. It is almost impossible to get the smoke odor out of pillows. Feather and foam retains odors.
To remove mildew, wash with soap and water. Rinse well and dry. If mildew remains, use lemon juice and salt, or a solution of household chlorine bleach and warm water.
Sometimes there are residual smoke odors from small fires that are annoying and linger. In addition to a good cleaning of everything in the house, you can place small saucers of household vanilla, wine, vinegar, or activated charcoal around your home to help absorb odors. Remember that the smoke odor is also inside heating and cooling ductwork; there a professional service may be required.
DO NOT USE GASOLINE TO CLEAN!
To remove smoke odors or soot from clothes that can be bleached, add 2 cups of ammonia to two (2) gallons of water, then rinse in vinegar (USE RUBBER GLOVES).Should you have any questions about cleaning of clothes, it is wise to contact a cleaning service. Take wool, silk, and rayon garments to the dry cleaners as soon as possible.
Securing Your Valuables
If you must leave your home, try and locate the following
items to take with you:
Eye glasses or hearing aids
Checks and checkbooks
Photos and other family mementos
Any items that are valuable to you
If your valuables are in a safe, please allow time for the safe to cool down prior to opening.
Smoke can damage the lungs of pets in minutes. Sparks will cause painful burns that may stay hidden under your pet's fur. As soon as possible, take you pet to your veterinarian. If your pet is lost in the confusion, please call either the Animal Control at 979-822-9102 or the Brazos Animal Shelter at(979)775-5755.
Often, the fire department must disconnect your utilities as a safety precaution. The utility companies cannot always restore your utilities until repairs are approved and a permit is issued by the City of Bryan Inspection Division.
If insured, consult your insurance company immediately to start their process of investigation and assistance.
Food / Beverage / Medications
All food, beverages, and medications exposed to heat, smoke or fire should be thrown out.
After a fire, you may experience feelings of anxiousness, depression, difficult concentration, sadness, anger, fatigue, irrational fears and nightmares. These are common responses to a traumatic event and can be overcome with some life style changes and professional help.
It is important to get plenty of exercise during this stressful event in you life. Exercise will increase your stamina and help you reduce stress. It is also important to avoid excessive amounts of caffeine and chocolate. Caffeine and chocolate increase the effects of stress. If you and your family members need support, check the Yellow Pages under counselors. Some employers and health insurance programs provide coverage for this service.
Need Emergency Assistance?
If you are in need of emergency assistance for food, clothing, or lodging, contact the Fire Department Incident Commander operating at the scene of the fire. However, if you find out you need assistance after the fire department has left the scene, please call the American Red Cross at 776-8279 (M-F to 5p.m.) or 361-4000 (24-hour emergency number).
Relocating After the Fire
Family and friends
Your Insurance company
Utility companies (gas, electric, phone, cable)
Social Security Administration
Fire Department (If the fire is under investigation.)
Newspaper and Magazine (To stop delivery)
Credit Card Companies
Disposal of Fire-Damaged Materials
Fire-damaged items such as carpet, insulation, sheetrock, and other structural items are not typical waste streams collected by the city and should not be placed curbside for collection due to potential environmental and community hazards.
Affected property owners are asked to transport these materials to the Brazos Valley Solid Waste Management Agency landfill in the College Station for disposal, or coordinate with an authorized roll off service provider for assistance in high-volume waste loads.
Additional guidance on proper disposal of these material types may be obtained by contacting the City of Bryan Public Works Call Center at (979)209-5900.
After the Fire...............
...............We continue to serve
Bryan Fire Department
Bryan Fire Department Administration Offices
300 W. William Joel Bryan Parkway
Bryan, Rexas 77803