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