What To Do After a Fire
After a fire breaks out in your home, you might feel lost and unsure how to proceed. It can be extremely overwhelming to deal with post-fire damage. Insurance companies, fire departments, city inspectors, mitigation specialists, and contractors will probably all be involved in the process. All of this can leave you feeling a little lost.
However, if a fire does occur in your home, it is important to handle the situation carefully and correctly in order to protect you and your family, your possessions, and your home itself. Here are some things to keep in mind if you find yourself dealing with a house fire:
Do Not Enter Your Home After a Fire
Until the fire inspectors have given you permission to reenter your home, do not go inside the building. The structure of your home could be comprised, and the fire department will need to make sure it is safe for you to reenter. Even if the fire department has deemed your home safe to reenter, you might need to also get permission from your insurance company. Sometimes your insurance claim could be impacted or even denied if you reenter before they have cleared you to do so.
Once you are cleared to reenter the building, keep in mind that soot is extremely irritating to airways and eyes. You should wear protective gear when you step inside the burnt structure. And finally, do not turn on any source of electric, gas, or water until inspectors and the fire department tell you it is okay to do so.
Contact Your Insurance Agent
Regardless of the size of your house fire, it is important to contact your insurance agent as soon as possible. Obviously, you will want to start repairs right away, but your insurance agent will need to be notified before you can begin those repairs. In addition, your insurance agent can help you with the financial ramifications of your house fire. Some policies offer funds to help cover alternative housing, day-to-day expenses, and replacement of personal items due to a fire.
Secure a Place to Stay
After a fire, you will need to find a place to stay. If the damage is minor, you might only need a place for a short amount of time. However, if your home is destroyed or sustained extensive damage, you will need to secure long-term housing for you and your family while you work with your insurance agent, inspectors, and contractors to determine the best course of action.
Review Your Possessions
If you did not sustain a total loss from the fire, you might still have possessions inside the home that are undamaged. Once you are cleared to re-enter the structure, you should plan to remove those items right away to avoid becoming the target of looters. Creating a catalog of your home’s contents with pictures of items prior to or after the fire will help with your insurance claim process. If possible, gather receipts or write down the make, model, and serial numbers of larger items such as appliances or electronics. These records will help make your claim process much smoother.
Fire Damage Restoration
Experiencing a house fire is stressful. Here at SERVPRO, we want to help alleviate a little of that stress for you. Once you have called your insurance agent, make sure your next call is to SERVPRO of West Bradenton/Anna Maria at (941) 792-7715. We have the equipment, expertise, and experience needed to restore your home due to fire and smoke damage. Throughout the process, we will treat your family and property with care, respect, and empathy.