Hoarding Clean Up
Compulsive hoarders struggle to discard possessions because of a perceived need to save them. Their hoarding disorder causes them to accumulate an excessive amount of things regardless of any actual value. While these cluttered, unhealthy living spaces can cause distress or problems with daily activities, there is another threat to hoarders’ well being.
People living in excessive accumulation are in physical danger. Hoarding increases the fire load of any structure. Item stored too closely to cooking and heating units can easily ignite. Piles of flammable materials can spill onto hot surfaces. The lack of household maintenance can hide worn, frayed or pest damaged wires creating electrical dangers. Open flames from smoking materials or candles also pose risks. Clutter blocking pathways and exits can hinder escaping a fire.
Excessive collecting also puts first responders at risk. The National Fire Protection Association says the primary concern of fire service is the “chaotic nature” of hoarder dwellings because blocked windows and exits “make fire attack and rescue difficult.” Clutter makes it difficult for them to move through the structure. First responders can also become disoriented, trapped or injured by obstructed exits and falling objects. Finally, the tremendous weight of the clutter coupled with the weight of water and other suppression agents used to extinguish the fire, can cause a building to collapse.
Hoarding is a serious condition and should be addressed by a qualified mental health professional. However, there are ways to help a loved one:
- Help them make a home safety and escape plan
- Practice the plan often; remember escape routes will change as new items come in
- Install working smoke alarms and test them monthly
- Alert your fire and police departments of the conditions of your loved ones home
Once the home is emptied it will need thorough cleaning, sanitation and deodorization. Mold, mild and other types of biological contamination will likely be present. SERVPRO of Dearborn has experience in cleaning hoarding situations and dealing with the complicated situation at the heart of the matter.
For a free, no cost assessment for all of your cleaning needs call us at 313-359-4357 or visit our website.