Without a doubt, nobody ever wants to deal with fire troubles at home; it’s always a scary experience that can leave someone feeling vulnerable. However, since fire is a high-pressure accident, you should prepare yourself for the worst so that you can act fast when you’re already in the situation.
Here is what you should do if you encounter fire damage.
Don’t Enter the Building
Don’t enter the building that was on fire until a professional has told you it is safe. While the building might look clear after the fire has been put out, there is still a chance that the fire could start again or that the structure is unstable. Both these situations could put your life in danger. Wait until the authorities clear your home as a safe zone before entering.
Call the Right People
As mentioned earlier, a fire is a high-pressure situation, so you need to make sure you call the right people first:
- On top of the list should be your family; call all the members to confirm their safety and to inform them of what happened.
- You then need to call a disaster relief company to assess the situation.
- Contact a disaster management team to get to work on restoration. For instance, you can get professional help from All Dry USA in states like Texas, Illinois, etc.
- Your next call should be your insurance company. Your insurer can help in securing a temporary residence for your family while handling the restoration needs. Let your insurance company know that you’ve also contacted a disaster management team, and give them all the relevant reports.
Obtain a Fire Report
The fire report is the document that contains details about the condition of your home, the people who were involved, the time & date of the fire, and more. Contact the fire department team or consult with the disaster relief company to get your copy of the fire report. If the teams aren’t authorized to hand the report to you, ask them for guidance.
Secure the Property
You need to prevent looting and further accidents. Also, the insurance company will need a detailed inventory of all the property. Therefore, you need to separate your damaged property from the undamaged to make the preparation of the inventory list easier. It’s also crucial to compile receipts of the items in the inventory list; the insurance company needs information on the date each item was purchased, price, brand name, serial number and description. If the receipts were destroyed in the fire or you didn’t keep them, request copies of your bank statement. Also take photos of the damaged property, in case you need them.
Organize a Clean-Up
Fire damage is usually deeper than you can see, so you might need a professional to help with the clean-up. The soot, smoke and extinguisher residue is also difficult to clean yourself. A restoration company may have connections with reputable contractors, architects, and engineers who can work together to bring your home to its former glory.
Consider Water Damage
If water was used to put out the fire, you’ll need to check for water damage and mold. You should also involve a professional clean-up company to deal with this because mold can grow quickly. Mold needs to be removed quickly before it’s a hazard to your family’s health.
Seek Psychological Help
After you’ve dealt with all the damage, don’t forget to take stock of your mental health as well as that of everyone in your family. Seek professional counseling if you need to because fires can cause serious stress and emotions.