A house fire can be among the most traumatic and devastating experiences. While taking care of your health and safety first is important, there are also many other actions you should take to protect your property and belongings as soon as possible. Or else you may be at risk of experiencing a lot more financial losses.
Here are five things you should do immediately after a house fire:
1. Call Your Local Fire Department
The first step after a house fire is to call your local fire department. Ensure the fire is completely extinguished before leaving your home, as smoldering embers can reignite and lead to more damage. You must also request a copy of the report generated by the firefighters. This usually includes vital details, such as what caused the blaze in the first place.
This report can be used to file insurance claims and receive compensation for any damages suffered. In a lot of cases, firefighters use water to put out the fire. As such, you should be aware of potential damages, such as water damage or mold. So when you start noticing any indications of these issues, a professional mold and water cleanup service should be called in right away.
2. Contact Your Insurance Company
Once the fire has been extinguished, the next step is to contact your insurance company. 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 adjuster can also help you determine which items are salvageable and what needs to be replaced.
Furthermore, they can help guide how to proceed with repair work and restoration after the fire. Some insurance companies can even recommend reputable property restoration professionals. If you need such services, click here or ask for referrals from those around you.
3. Document Everything
When possible, take pictures or video recordings of the damaged areas in your home as soon as possible after the fire. But you have to wait until the firefighters have announced it is risk-free to do so. Pictures and videos are necessary for documenting the damages and providing evidence for your insurance claim.
4. Secure Important Documents and Valuables
If it’s safe to do so, try to secure any important documents and belongings that may have made it through the fire. This consists of passports, birth certificates, insurance policies, and other official documents. Any financial records should also be protected or replaced immediately. Additionally, you must take inventory of any items ruined or destroyed in the fire. Again, this is crucial for submitting insurance claims and receiving compensation.
5. Secure Your Home
You should also secure your house from more damage or theft. If the house is structurally sound and safe, close all windows, doors, and other openings. Consider deploying temporary fencing to protect the property from mischief-makers and criminals if your house is badly damaged.
If you notice suspicious activities at or around your house, reach out to your local authorities division to report these. This way, they can monitor the situation till repair work can be done.
6. Engage Other Professionals to Assess the Damage
If the damage is severe, arrange for professionals, such as a structural engineer, electrical expert, a plumbing technician, or contact home restoration companies in your area to evaluate the damage. They can accurately determine what needs to be fixed and replaced to restore your home to its pre-fire condition.
7. Take Care of Yourself and Your Family
It’s easy to forget about yourself after a terrible event like this. But you must look after yourself and your loved ones throughout recuperation. Reach out for assistance from family, close friends, and community support groups. Get enough rest and seek professional help if you feel overwhelmed.
Dealing with the after-effects of a fire can be too much to handle and stressful. But these tips can help you prepare to face the recovery process. Reach out for help when needed and comply with your insurance company’s directions to make sure you get full compensation for any damages sustained. Most importantly, take your time making decisions and get professional advice first. This will certainly help ensure everything is done the right way and your house is restored safely.