Let’s start putting the pieces back together…
After the flames from your house fire are extinguished, you understandably have a thousand questions and will be wondering how you will handle the aftermath.
Restoring your home after a fire is not something you should do alone. Fire damage should always be left to the professionals. Luckily, homeowner’s insurance should cover the work, so it is advisable to let the experts repair your home properly and safely.
The fire-restoration experts at Onsite Restoration are helping local homeowners handle the confusion & uncertainty by offering this checklist of six steps to follow when you have experienced a fire:
1. Let Others Know You Are Okay
Remember: never stay in your home after a fire unless the fire department says it is okay. Your family’s safety and mental wellbeing is too important.
After a house fire, once you are safe, make sure to let your family and close friends know, even if they are not local. This may seem obvious, but after a traumatic event, you may be overwhelmed or confused and forget to touch base with your loved ones.
Not only will they feel better knowing you are safe but having the extra support as you begin the fire-restoration process is important to your mental health.
If you are renting the home, contact the property owners or landlord immediately so they can start making decisions about the property and the recovery process.
2. Inform Your Homeowner’s Insurance Company
After you have notified family and friends, the next step should be to contact your homeowner’s insurance company, which initiates the documentation and insurance claim processes.
By filing a claim with your homeowner’s insurance company, a property-emergency agent will help you with resources such as lodging and living expenses. They also will connect you with reputable restoration companies like Onsite Restoration.
Make sure to get a copy of the fire report from your local fire department. This provides more detailed information to your insurance company.
3. Contact a Fire-Restoration Company
Recovery after a house fire is something you should not attempt on your own.
A fire-restoration company like ours is on call for emergencies and will assess your home immediately. An experienced restoration company is aware that time is imperative and that delays in restoration often lead to more damage.
More than likely, the fire has left your home exposed to the weather, damaged by cleanup efforts, or both. A team of restoration professionals will do an emergency board up to protect your home and keep your belongings safe.
4. Wait for the All-Clear Before Re-Entering Your Home
If the fire department clears your home for entrance, you may safely re-enter it. Never go into a house or building that has been damaged by fire until you have the go-ahead.
We know it’s hard, but depending on the damage to your home, you may need to limit the time you spend there. There are numerous health risks after a fire, including inhaling smoke and soot. Prioritize your visit —focus on your valuables and gathering important documents such as Social Security cards, birth certificates, medical records, and passports.
You may also want to document the damage through photographs or videos. This will help with your homeowner’s insurance claim.
Food, medications, or cosmetics should be thrown away, although this does not have to be done immediately. These items have been exposed to high heat and can be dangerous.
5. Evaluate Your Possessions
When you can enter your home safely and stay for an extended period, your possessions should be organized. Separate items into damaged and undamaged ones, and make a list of the damaged pieces.
Remember to document with photographs along the way. Your insurance company will need a list of destroyed items for replacement value.
A professional at Onsite Restoration can help you assess what is salvageable. If an item can be restored, you can trust us to take care of it.
6. Restoring Your Home
A qualified restoration company will take over the rest. Restoring your home properly before you move back in is essential because there could be health issues from lingering mold/mildew, smoke, and ash.
The company will remove smoke-damaged, water-soaked, or burned materials. If wet items remain, the house may develop mold issues.
Restoration companies have equipment to eliminate tough stains and remove unsafe and toxic odors. Your clothes, curtains, fabrics, carpets, and upholstery will all need to be cleaned. Even your electronics will need to be cleaned inside and out — it is shocking where ash and soot infiltrate. Walls, ceilings, and floors will be cleaned with products that prevent mold.
Rooms that were never engulfed in flames can still be damaged. Don’t overlook parts of your house that look okay at first glance.
Need Help Restoring Your Home After a Fire?
You shouldn’t tackle the restoration of your home after a fire. Call the experts instead — Onsite Restoration specializes in smoke and fire damage.
We care about restoring your home after a fire. If you are unsure about what steps you should take to restore your home to its pre-fire condition, call us at (813) 579-5789. Our certified technicians are available 24/7, 365 days a year to assist you.