Hoarding is a complex issue which requires intervention and long-term support from appropriate agencies, it can be challenging to manage. One-off clean-ups may not always be effective.
If the underlying issues are not addressed, the accumulation of materials can increase.
I recently came across some excellent information from Fire Rescue Victoria FRV.
FRV recommends that any smoke alarms at the property be checked to ensure they are in working order and positioned appropriately. The installation of additional smoke alarms is recommended in properties with high fuel loads – especially in areas where people sleep to ensure they have the earliest possible warning of a fire and time to escape.
Hoarding may increase the risk of fire and reduce the ability of occupant/s to safely escape the property in the event of an emergency. It may also pose an additional risk to firefighters gaining access to and responding to a fire or other emergency.
FRV recommends that in the first instance you make risk reduction a priority rather than large scale removal. Individuals or agencies assisting those affected by hoarding may wish to consider:
- Installing smoke alarms and test them
- Unblock exits
- Widen internal pathways
- Check utilities are connected
- Prioritise removing clutter from around cooking areas and stove tops.
- Ensure clutter is removed from around heaters and electrical items and discourage the use of open flame such as candles.
Enclosed is a link for further information and a useful information sheet with a clutter rating scale. https://www.frv.vic.gov.au/hoarding
JUNK can assist with any general rubbish and clutter removal except asbestos, we have extensive experience working with people experiencing or at risk of hoarding & squalor including support agencies. For further information or to arrange a booking, contact us on 13 44 55.
We would like to acknowledge and extend our gratitude to Fire Rescue Victoria for compiling this information and for their service to the community.