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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Hoarding and Fires

4/13/2020 (Permalink)

Inside a hoarder's home, with personal possessions stacked so high entry ways are blocked. Fire departments are experiencing serious fires, injuries, and deaths as the result of compulsive hoarding behavior.

Hoarding is a condition where a person has difficulty discarding personal possessions. The large amount of possessions can fill the home and limit the use of space. The excessive accumulation of materials in these homes poses a significant threat to firefighters in the event of a fire and/or responding to other emergencies within these homes. Studies suggest that between three and five percent of the population are compulsive hoarders. Fire departments have had to become familiar with hoarding issues and how to effectively handle emergencies in these homes.

  • Hoarding can be a fire hazard and many times occupants die in fires of these homes.
  • Blocked exits prevent escape from these homes.
  • Many people who are hoarding are injured when they trip over things and/or those personal possessions fall on them. The weight of those personal possessions, especially if water is added to put out a fire, can lead to building collapse.
  • Responding firefighters can be put at risk due to obstructed exits.
  • Hoarding makes fighting fires and searching for occupants far more difficult.
  • Those living adjacent to the occupied structure can be quickly affected when a fire occurs, due to excessive smoke and fire conditions.

If you or a loved one suffers from compulsive hoarding behavior do not hesitate to call SERVPRO Greeley/Windsor at 970-353-1388, we can help with the cleanup. We are available 24/7, 365 days a year.

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