A house fire can be one of the most traumatic and damaging experiences. While caring for your health and safety first is important, many other actions must be taken as soon as possible to protect your home and possessions. Or else you may be at risk of experiencing a lot more financial losses.
Here are five things you should do instantly after a house fire:
1. Call Your Local Fire Department
The initial step after a house fire is to contact your local fire department. Ensure the fire is completely extinguished before leaving your home, as smoldering embers can reignite and cause more damage. You should also ask for a copy of the report generated by the firefighters. This usually contains vital information, such as what caused the blaze in the first place.
This report can be utilized to file insurance claims and get compensation for any damages suffered. In a lot of cases, firefighters use water to put out the fire. Because of this, you need to be aware of potential damages, like water damage or mold. When you see the first signs of damp or mold damage, it’s time to bring in the pros for water and mold cleanup.
2. Contact Your Insurance Company
When the fire has been extinguished, the next procedure is to get in touch with your insurance provider. Your insurance provider will send an adjuster to evaluate the damage and provide you with a settlement for any damages sustained in the fire. The insurance adjuster can also aid you in identifying which items are salvageable and what needs to be replaced.
Moreover, they can help guide how to proceed with repair work and rebuilding after the fire. Some insurance providers can even recommend reliable property restoration professionals. If you need such services, ask for recommendations from those around you. In addition, try searching online for “restoration companies near me” as well. This allows you to reduce your search within your community, making it much easier to find one.
3. Document Everything
When possible, take pictures or videos of the damaged areas in your home as soon as possible after the fire. But you need to wait until the firefighters have announced it is risk-free to do so. Pictures and videos are necessary for documenting the damage and providing evidence for your insurance claim.
4. Secure Important Documents and Valuables
If it’s safe, try to secure any important documents and belongings that may have survived the fire. This includes passports, birth certificates, insurance policies, and other official documents. Any financial records must also be safeguarded or replaced immediately. Additionally, you must take inventory of any damaged or destroyed items in the fire. Again, this is important for filing insurance claims and receiving compensation.
5. Secure Your Home
You should also secure your home from more damage or burglary. If the house is structurally sound and safe, shut all windows, doors, and other openings. Think about releasing temporary fencing to provide protection to the property from vandals and criminals if your house is badly damaged.
If you notice suspicious activities at or around your residence, contact your local authorities department to report these. This way, they can monitor the situation until repairs can be made.
6. Engage Other Professionals to Assess the Damage
If the damage is severe, arrange for professionals, such as a structural engineer, electrician, plumber, or property damage restoration contractors, to assess the damage. They can accurately determine what needs to be repaired and replaced to restore your home to its pre-fire condition. To find out how to get help from other experts to evaluate the damage, click here.
7. Take Care of Yourself and Your Family
It’s easy to forget about yourself after a terrible event similar to this. But you must take care of yourself and your family throughout recovery. Reach out for support from family, close friends, and community support groups. Get enough rest and seek professional assistance if you feel overwhelmed.
Dealing with the aftermath of a fire can be too much to handle and stressful. But these ideas can assist you in preparing to face the recovery process. Reach out for help when needed and comply with your insurance provider’s instructions to ensure you get full compensation for any damages sustained. Most importantly, take your time making decisions and obtain professional advice first. This will certainly help ensure everything is done correctly and your home is restored safely.