There is no doubt that having a house fire is one of the most traumatic scenarios that can happen to you & your family. Your belongings turn to ash. You & your family move out temporarily to a hostile or hotel. You end up with the burden of paying for the restoration of your home. These are only a handful of obstacles that people face as soon as the firefighters leave. Indeed, you can't predict these scenarios as they are "out of the blue." Therefore, when it does happen, you need to be quick on your feet to have the professionals handle it as soon as possible.
Let's Go Through Some Tips on How to Handle the Aftermath of a House Fire.
Evacuate the Building Immediately
It is recommended that you not only call the firefighters as they are not going to be the ones to stick around after the flames are doused. Arguably, that is the most critical time for you as it could mean that your home returns to its pre-damaged condition or needs to be razed. If you want to avoid the latter, you need to get in touch with an insurance provider immediately. Go over the incident in greater detail as this action has the potential to raise your coverage. Before you call local contractors, inform your insurer about your fire mitigation plan. They will tell you what to do next. Double-checking the policy inclusions is a must. You could miss out on having accommodation assistance or earning a living allowance. To expedite the process, talk to your agent about any claims process.
Keep The Incident Documented By Asking For a Fire Report
This public document is essential because it has information an insurance company needs to file an accurate claim. Not only does it have the date when the situation occurred, but it also contains information about the source of the fire and the severity of property damage.
Start Having Your Home Cleaned Up
As mentioned, there is no question that a house fire can cause harm and destroy your house as it could collapse because of a damaged foundation. Planks, pipes, and structural framing can only handle a certain amount of stress before giving way. Additionally, you have the health risks that come from being exposed to the pungent odors and toxic fumes spread throughout your property when fire emits smoke and forms soot. Ergo, it is urgent that you call fire restoration professionals immediately as the last thing you need is for the problem to be exacerbated as a result of trying to be a hero and trying to handle the incident yourself.
Jot Down All Damaged Belongings
Insurers can cover almost all your damaged items and replacement costs resulting from a fire. You will want to start tracking this data as soon as the contractors arrive. Insurance companies ask that you keep track of all possessions lost to make sure everything in their contents coverage is accounted for in a register of burnt/destroyed items.
Keep in mind that there is a high probability that important documents like birth certificates, passports, and driver's licenses. Consider storing them in a fire-proof storage unit. If those documents are gone, you will want to replacements immediately, as insurers ask many of these before filing a claim.
Make Sure The Fire Damage Cleanup Crew Scrubs Everything
Fire disasters always the interior of a home scorched. Virtually no area of your house is unaffected. Moreover, temporarily, if you are living somewhere else, go to the damaged property and ask the restoration company's team leader, as many questions you have on your mind. They have the protective gear necessary to go and inspect the interior with you. Very rarely do they forget to clean some surfaces. Nevertheless, be proactive and "bug them" as there is always that possibility of them forgetting to clean a particular area filled with soot or dust.
Inevitability Your Going to Have Water Damage
As soon as the fire restoration contractors complete their job, you will have to hire someone to pump up, vacuum up, and dry up the puddles of water and wet surfaces left from the fire hose. Subsequentially, contractors sanitize the area thoroughly to avoid fungi or airborne bacteria jeopardizing your health. Often, the contractors you hired to do the fire damage cleanup will include water damage restoration in their services. Stenches are also eliminated from your home.
Last but not least, you need to separate the items that were incinerated from those that weren't. Even though it was mentioned earlier that virtually all possessions could get destroyed, there still is a slim chance that some things may go unscathed. You want to make sure that they are cleaned and stored in a safe area. A public storage unit would be a good option. As for the affected items, you should contact your restoration company and handle disposing of them for you. Just make sure that those items are accounted for in a fire report or are included in your contents insurance. If you have any insurance questions, you can always also ask your damage restoration company.
How To Prevent Future Scenarios Like That From Occurring?
- Since your home was put out by gallons of water, avoid touching or turning on any electrically wired fixtures, appliances, and equipment.
- Clothing and any other fabricates that may have been exposed to smoke should not be put in the washing machine or taken to the cleaners without adding vinegar and baking soda into the machine filled with water.
- Thoroughly washing with these ingredients will allow the vinegar's odor to eliminate the toxic fumes of smoke.
- Also, remove soot particles and leave your clothing and garments outside for a day.
- Do not go inside your home for at least a few weeks. Soot particles are everywhere, and the last thing you need is to have them be airborne as a result of someone walking around and rummaging through belongings.
- Always change air filters because the previous filters aren't going to work.
- Open up your home if the weather is pleasant. Fresh air is your best friend. You can facilitate how soot and smoke particles get filtered out from your house by opening windows, appliances, and cabinets.
- Try to have tiles and floors covered with towels in any areas where there is foot traffic.
- Avoid cleaning anything until you are given the green light by an IICRC certified restoration professional.
- For those who don't know, IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) is the governing body that monitors and certifies contractors to do jobs such as water damage mitigation, mold remediation, fire damage cleanup, and many other inspection/restoration services.
Company Information: The Fire Restoration Team is America's disaster response company. Whether you need fire damage restoration, water damage mitigation, mold remediation, or emergency services, we are one phone call away from arriving at your home or business. We are available 24 hours 7 days a week.