Category: Hoarding

Hoarding is a Fire & Safety Hazard

Fire departments throughout the country are routinely faced with the challenge of combating house fires that result from compulsive hoarding and excessive clutter.  These fires not only cause the loss of personal property but far too often the loss of life as well.  The safety concerns of firefighters, when working in homes filled with an excessive amount of trash, debris, clutter and personal effects, should not be overlooked.  Their lives and the lives of other first responders are jeopardized when free movement in and around the home is restricted and sometimes completely blocked.  Firefighters are already working with limited visibility and restricted mobility while battling intense heat, flames and the compromised structural integrity of a burning building.  When wall-to-wall combustibles, which can be as tall as a grown man, are added to the other issues faced during  a residential fire, firefighters must work harder and smarter to stay alive.  As more contents are brought into a hoarder’s home, the higher the piles go.  The higher the piles, the greater danger of having a pile collapse and trap the resident or first responder are.

Not only does the excessive accumulation of materials create a source of fuel for fire but it can significantly slow down first responders who may be trying to get to the home owner or family member in a back bedroom.  Sometimes seconds can mean the difference between life and death and if a pathway isn’t clearly visible or accessible, those seconds could turn into minutes. Furthermore, blocked exits can prevent escape from the home during a fire or natural disaster.

If you feel you may be a hoarder or know someone who hoards, please ask him/her to contact Bio-Trauma 911, Inc. at 1-800-759-6960 or use our contact form . If you would like to speak now; however, prefer not to use the phone, feel free to chat with us through our live chat system at http://www.biotrauma911.com/livezilla/livezilla.php

 

Financing the Cost of Hoarding Cleanup

For over ten years, Bio-Trauma 911, Inc. has been helping hoarders to reclaim their lives. During this time, our professional staff of cleaning and organization experts have worked closely with family members and friends to ensure the cleaning, organization and remediation process is not a traumatic and painful process. Unfortunately however the time, effort and abundance of work that goes into cleaning a hoarder’s home is costly, which often times is the most traumatizing aspect of the entire process.

As one can imagine every home cleaning project is unique and no two jobs are ever priced the same. That being said, what is common with nearly every hoarding home is the fact that each job will generally run into thousands of dollars, not hundreds of dollars, to successfully and professionally clean and organize. A large portion of the overall cost of hoarding cleanup is of course the labor charge but also the cost of dumpsters, which can exceed $600 per dumpster. Large homes associated with a serious hoarding issue may require as many as four dumpsters. Another expense that is not often thought of is that of mold remediation. Once items are moved away from walls or from a damp basement, it’s not uncommon to uncover an underlying mold issue that wasn’t previously known due to the compact nature of items sitting in front of or on top of the mold.

If you, your family member or friend is ready to tackle a hoarding disorder or simply needs help with clutter, cost should not be an obstacle that prevents this all too important life changing event. Unfortunately, most insurance companies will not cover the cost of hoarding or clutter cleanup and the overall costs is generally borne by the hoarder, home owner or family members. Bio-Trauma 911, Inc. accepts most major credit cards, personal checks, cash and bank to bank ACH transfers. While a down payment is always required before we commence any work, Bio-Trauma 911, Inc. offers flexible payment plans to suit most budgets. Please take time to contact Steve Hanna or Brandon Stone at 1-800-759-6960 to discuss your situation and ways in which we may be of service to you.

The Hoarding Cleanup Process

During the past ten years, the staff of Bio-Trauma 911, Inc. has helped hundreds of hoarders in Indiana and surrounding states to reclaim their living space and lives.  Our staff of caring and compassionate experts work with hoarders and their family members to make the remediation process as pleasant as it can be.  As experts in this field, our staff understands that it may take several weeks, even months, to get everyone on board so that the process can be started with full participation from the hoarder.

Hoarding or Compulsive Hoarding Disorder makes it very difficult, and nearly impossible, for a person to discard or part with possessions because of a perceived need to save them.  The mere thought of throwing away an item of perceived value or importance will cause distress and hardship for the hoarder.  Regardless of actual value or worth, excessive accumulation of items will occur.  This accumulation, over time, may become so severe that the hoarder and/or other family members find it very difficult to live a normal and healthy life.

So often our initial contact with the client comes by way of a concerned family member or friend. Unfortunately it is all too common for hoarders to live in isolation. Many family members have no idea that their loved one is in fact a hoarder.  In the home of a family member and friend with a hoarding disorder, one would typically find the counter tops, desks, sinks, stoves, stairways and nearly all other surfaces to be stacked with items.  When no more can be stacked on these surfaces, these items may begin to clutter up the garage, storage barns, vehicles and yard.  Among the first signs of hoarding disorder will be the amassing of items and the difficulty in discarding of these items.  These signs or symptoms may often surface during the teenage years.  As the person ages, the situation becomes progressively worse and more difficult to treat.

While our company is a strong proponent of professional intervention and treatment for hoarding disorder, it’s not unusual for hoarders, with the help of family members, to seek out help on their own.  It is during this time, or after a successful treatment program, that our staff will meet with the hoarder and typically a family member. During the initial meeting, which may come after weeks of telephone conversations, we discuss the remediation or cleaning process.  At this point or a short time later, we like to have a full understanding of the value and importance the hoarder places on items in the home.  Often times it’s important to save certain items, as not everything should be discarded.  Likewise, during the cleaning process, our staff will take time to search for and retain: momentos, valuables, photos, important documents and other items that shouldn’t be thrown away.

To properly clean a home of a hoarder generally requires several of our technicians to work long days for the better part of a week.  It is not an inexpensive process but one that many hoarders find to be invaluable.  The excitement, joy, disbelief and complete relief expressed by so many of our clients is a true testament to our unwavering commitment and dedication to our clients and their goal of realizing a better way of living.

To learn more about Bio-Trauma 911 and our hoarding cleanup services, please visit us at www.treathoarding.com

What is Hoarding?

According to Montgomery County, Maryland Department of Health and Human Services, “Hoarding is the acquisition of, and failure to discard a large number of possessions in a residence which appear to be useless or of limited value. Living spaces, furniture,appliances and utilities are sufficiently cluttered as to prevent their intended use, which could pose a significant risk to health, safety or the maintenance of housing.”
Signs and Symptoms of Hoarding (not all signs will be present)
  • Parts of your home become unusable and clutter may block egress and ingress (windows and doors)
  • No apparent or intended organization to the clutter
  • The hoarded items hold no value
  • Presence of numerous pets
  • Home is unsanitary and the clutter makes it difficult or impossible to use the bathroom or kitchen
  • Clutter causes an infestations of insects, rats, roaches
  • Increased social isolation
  • Hoarder unwilling to give up items
  • Unable or unwilling to return borrowed items
  • Structural damage to the house as a result of the accumulated items or failure to maintain the home
Up to 5% of the world’s population displays signs of clinical hoarding. This is twice the rate of those diagnosed with OCD and five times the rate of those diagnosed with bipolar and schizophrenia disorders.
Common Personality Traits of a Hoarder (not all traits will be present)
  • Neuroticism
  • Anxiety
  • Indecisiveness
  • Perfectionism
  • Vulnerability
  • Impulsiveness
  • Depression
  • Self-Consciousness
For those who do not suffer from hoarding disorder it can be difficult to understand why anyone would choose to accumulate and develop an emotional attachment with items that have no real value or worth. In fact, in cities throughout the U.S., hoarders are renting storage units and buying additional homes to accommodate items and goods that they can no longer fit into their family home, garage or vehicles.

Many years ago, individuals who collected “stuff” were called pack rats.  Today, in light of TV shows that depict the lives of hoarders, friends, family and neighbors are now familiar with the signs and symptoms of hoarding disorder.  Often times these behaviors, especially if they present an eyesore or safety hazard, are being reported to government authorities.

As hoarding disorder (compulsive hoarding) garners more attention, additional state, county and local resources are being deployed.  Through the increased involvement of police, fire, adult protective services and the court systems, more effective programs are being developed and deployed to aid those suffering from this disorder.

If you feel you may be a hoarder or know someone who hoards or has excessive clutter in their home, please ask him/her to contact Bio-Trauma 911, Inc. at 1-800-759-6960 or use our contact form . If you would like to speak now; however, prefer not to use the phone, feel free to chat with us through our live chat system at http://www.biotrauma911.com/livezilla/livezilla.php

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