What To Do Right After A Fire
Fires are a completely devastating event to experience. They can be sudden and move quickly, destroying everything in its path. Once the flames have been extinguished, the aftermath can be an additional wave of destruction. Where there is fire damage, there will certainly be smoke, soot damage and water damage. There is also potential for mold damage to occur if the scene is not attended to immediately. While there may be very little on your mind outside of preserving your life and anyone else’s that is inside your home or business, your actions in the first 24-48 hours following the fire will be your most crucial. It can be confusing to sort out your next actions, especially if you’ve never undergone a traumatic event such as this. However, there are some helpful actions that you should take after a fire has occurred in order to minimize as much damage and loss as possible and begin to move the process along as quickly as possible.
Contact Your Insurance
After you have called for emergency assistance, it is best to call your insurance company. The sooner you call them, the sooner they can begin coordinations on repairing your property. They can help to find a reputable remediation company and even offer loss of use funds to help with daily expenses. This can be incredibly helpful if your credit or debit cards were left behind in the fire.
Immediately after a fire occurs, it is likely that you will need to evacuate your loved ones, pets, employees and customers for some time. Law enforcement officials and your chosen restoration company will need the space to begin and complete their processes in order to return you back to your home or business.
Plan & List
In the interim, it is recommended to begin to plan your finances and list out your damaged possessions. It may be worthwhile to cancel utilities and other services including cable, internet or landscaping. It is also a good idea to prepare a list of the damaged contents, big or small. You may also need to make arrangements to replace important documents including driver’s licenses, passports, titles, deeds, medical and tax records.
Choose A Restoration Company
Restoration companies can be an incredibly comforting source of stability. They are tasked with doing the actual job of returning you back to your home or business safely and optimally. They are incredibly experienced and have access to resources that the average person does not. Completing a thorough fire restoration and cleanup is especially comprehensive and there are many details involved that can be missed and it is important to choose a reputable and knowledgeable restoration company to ensure that nothing is missed. Damage left behind from smoke, soot or water can lead to potential problems with indoor air quality, mold or structural instability.
Secure Your Property
Once the fire marshal has qualified the area as safe, you may need to return to your home or business to assess and try to recover some of your belongings. If structural damage has occurred, you’ll want to make sure the building is protected from the elements and from other people. Many times, this is required by insurance companies. Windows and doors may need to be secured and plywood or tarps may need to be applied. Your insurance agent can guide you in what is required and your chosen restoration company will be able to make the proper arrangements.
Though there is no real way to prepare for a fire or at times, even prevent it from happening, there are useful actions you can take after a fire has occurred in your home or business. The most important thing to remember and be concerned with is your safety though.
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