Threat of West Coast Wildfires Extends Beyond the Flames

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Paul Davis offers tips for protecting people and property in 2015.

“Fire season is essentially year round and the dangers of wildfires are well documented. But what most people don’t know are the damaging effects smoke, soot and ash can have on themselves, their families and their property."

This year, fire conditions are the worst on record along the West Coast. In 13 states in the western U.S., $237 billion in property is at risk of wildfire damage. Paul Davis, a leading provider of water, fire, mold and smoke damage restoration for residential and commercial properties, wants to educate property owners now about how to avoid the often-overlooked impact of smoke, soot and ash. The aftermath of a wildfire can lead to costly repairs and health problems – even if the fire is miles away.

Wildfires are a serious threat in the western states, and fire season typically runs from June through September. However, the extreme drought in most areas of the country has led to fires occurring anytime of the year.

“Fire season is essentially year round and the dangers of wildfires are well documented,” said Rich Wilson, president and CEO of Paul Davis. “But what most people don’t know are the damaging effects smoke, soot and ash can have on themselves, their families and their property. At Paul Davis, we see these effects every day and want to alert the public on how to prevent them.”

Wildfires can last for weeks and smoke and ash can linger for weeks afterwards. Smoke, ash and soot contain corrosive chemicals that can cause significant damage to the structure and building material, as well as the contents of a property. Over time, these dangerous residuals can eat away at roofs, exterior walls and patios, get into heating and air-conditioning systems and contaminate carpets, fabrics and linens. Wooden furniture, floors, painted walls, granite and marble can become discolored and permanently stained, and metal will begin to corrode.

If left untreated, smoke, ash and soot will continue to cause damage, and prolonged exposure permanently harms all surfaces and embeds in fibers. Taking immediate action and beginning the cleaning and repairing process will minimize the impact of harmful fire residuals, ultimately saving time, money and effort.

Smoke and ash are also health hazards, causing skin rashes, respiratory damage and death if inhaled. Children and pets are especially at risk. Extreme precautions should be taken in order to protect the health of loved ones.

Paul Davis offers the following tips for protecting people and property from the impacts of wildfires.

  • Choose building materials, furnishings and plants that resist fire.
  • Prune trees and shrubs of dead branches and away from the home.
  • Regularly clear roofs and gutters of tree branches, leaves and other plant material.
  • Keep lawn and landscaping watered within local guidelines and clear of dead leaves and other debris.
  • Have an evacuation plan in place in case your area is threatened by a wildfire.

If a wildfire threatens or is in the area:

  • Stay indoors, put the air conditioner on recirculate, keep exterior doors and windows closed.
  • Ensure clean air and HEPA filters are installed in air conditioning and or air purification units.
  • Monitor your and your family’s health and seek medical attention if you experience symptoms such as persistent coughing, throat irritation or difficulty breathing.

If a property has been impacted by smoke, soot or ash from wildfires, both residential and commercial owners can call Paul to handle property restoration needs. To get help 24/7 or to find the nearest Paul Davis office, visit PaulDavis.com or call 888-473-7669.

About Paul Davis
Founded in 1966, Paul Davis is a leader in property damage emergency services, with highly trained and certified professionals experienced in restoration, reconstruction and remodeling. The Paul Davis network of more than 370 franchises serves residential and commercial customers across the U.S. and Canada.

Regardless of the cause of an emergency – water, mold, fire, smoke or extreme weather – Paul Davis responds quickly to stop the damage and reverse the effects, minimizing disruption of normal activities.

From restoring a family’s precious belongings to reconstructing multimillion-dollar commercial projects, Paul Davis puts people and property first. For more information, visit PaulDavis.com or PaulDavis.ca.

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Jamey Ivey
St. John & Partners
+1 850-228-5988
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