In the unfortunate event your home suffers a fire, you must understand how to handle the aftermath. Even a simple mistake could cause further damage, or worse – injury to you or someone you love.
Check out our top fire restoration tips below to learn what you need to do to start picking up the pieces after a fire damage disaster.
Do Not Enter Your House Until You Know It’s Safe
When your home suffers a fire, get your family (don’t forget your pets!) and get out. Do not re-enter the house for any reason. Your possessions are replaceable; your life isn’t.
Once the firefighters have extinguished the flames, they’ll check for structural hazards that may make it dangerous to re-enter the house, and if it’s safe, they’ll let you know. Only once you’ve gotten the green light from the fire department should you ever set foot inside a fire-damaged home.
Shut Off the HVAC System
If your HVAC system isn’t already shut down when you’re able to re-enter the home, it’s a good idea to turn it off when you can. Allowing forced air to circulate throughout your house continually can spread soot from the fire throughout your home, which will create even more damage.
If it’s safe to do so, you should also swap out your HVAC filters as soon as you can to help control the spread of soot and smoke.
Document the Damage
If you plan to file a claim with your homeowner’s insurance, it’s critical that you thoroughly document the damage to your home. Take photos, take videos, write down what happened and what suffered damage — just make sure you document everything.
You’ll need to supply this information when you file a fire damage restoration reimbursement claim. Hang on to all your receipts for any losses or expenses you accumulate due to the fire, as doing so will help expedite your reimbursement.
Contact Your Homeowners Insurance Provider
After the incident, call your insurance provider for guidance on your next steps as soon as you can. Your insurer will walk you through the process of filing a claim and may offer recommendations for local fire damage restoration companies.
Keep in mind, though, that despite your insurer’s recommendation, you have the right to select which fire restoration company you’d like to work with. It’s always a good idea to get restoration estimates from two to three companies to keep your options open.
Find a Place to Stay
When a house suffers a fire, considerable smoke damage and residue on the property may present a health hazard to you and your family. That’s why it’s in your best interest to find a temporary place to stay — even if it’s only for a night or two — immediately after a house fire.
If the damage isn’t extensive, it may be safe to remain in your home while you wait for repairs to finish. However, if you need smoke damage cleanup, contents cleaning, or water damage restoration from extinguishing the fire, you may need to find accommodations for a few weeks. If your homeowner’s insurance policy has loss of use coverage, your insurer will reimburse you for those lodging expenses.
Remove Undamaged Items
After you receive clearance to enter your home again, you will want to take an inventory of items that survived the fire and remove them if possible. You will usually find out what items are damaged and which are not after the initial cleaning process, which is fire damage cleanup and water damage restoration, respectively. However, this does not mean your house will be ready to go, as there are more steps after cleanup to get your home back to normal.
While you wait for total restoration, it’s best to find suitable storage for undamaged items before sifting through your possessions. You will have to assess the damage of your items and determine if they are worth keeping and cleaning; otherwise, throw things that are too far gone away correctly.
Wear the Right Protective Gear
It is imperative to wear the correct protective gear when conducting cleanup or item retrieval. When entering the restoration area, a head-to-toe approach is recommended. Respirators, hard hats, and face shields are a great way to protect yourself breathing in harmful soot particles and protecting your eyes from other debris. Hearing protection is also recommended if your fire damage restoration crew works with loud equipment.
Gloves, boots, coveralls, and long sleeve work shirts will help minimize skin contact and reduce the chances of chemical and electrical burns.
Contact Kiser Construction for Fire Damage in the Twin Cities
Has your home been the unfortunate victim of a fire? Let our team at Kiser Construction help you pick up the pieces. Since 2003, we’ve specialized in fire damage restoration, smoke damage cleanup, contents cleaning, and home renovation services that have helped hundreds of homeowners just like you recover after a house fire strikes.
To learn more about how we can help you or get a restoration estimate, please call us today at 763-633-2010 or contact us online for more information.
If you need immediate disaster restoration assistance, please call our 24/7 emergency response line at 612-518-8852.