Many of us have either experienced a home fire, or we may know someone else who has.
House fire statistics, according to the NFPA, loof like this:
Fires : 1,389,500
$ Loss : 11.7 Billion
First, CHECK YOUR SMOKE ALARMS! I see many homes with old or even non-existent smoke alarm protection! Not Smart! Smoke alarms are very inexpensive! Every sleeping area and hallways leading to bedrooms, and every level of the home should have properly functioning smoke alarms.
Now, when it comes to damage from a fire to the structure of the home, there are a few specifics I look for. Believe it or not, burned or charred wood structural members are not necessarily in need of replacement. But you need to contact a professional home inspector like me to find out whether you have reason to worry about replacement or not.
When exposed to fire, wood first browns, then blackens, then ignites and begins to char at a steady rate. The charred portion of the wood loses its' structural strength, but the clear wood beneath does not, unless it undergoes prolonged heating. The remaining strength of wood exposed to fire can be determined by removing the char and estimating the size and strength of the new cross section of wood. Damaged structural members may be reinforced by bolting additional structural members in a conficguration that restores their original design strength.
Let me emphasize once again, that this type of evaluation is the job for a professional, not a DIY project. In some cases, further evaluation by a licensed structural engineer may be warranted.
Contact me to inspect your property. I can point you in the right direction so that the damage can be evaluated and repaired properly!