What To Do After A House Fire
These Steps Can Help You & Your Family Recover After A House Fire
If you’re like most homeowners, the thought of a fire ravaging your house is almost inconceivable. But in reality, you never know when a household disaster may strike. Ultimately, the best thing you can do to protect your family and your property is educate yourself on how to handle the situation.
While knowing what to do in the event of a fire is critical, so too, is understanding how to move forward with the fire damage restoration process after the incident. There may be significant destruction left behind by heat, flames, smoke, and water, and you must address any lingering damage promptly to protect your home from further deterioration.
Never Enter Your Home Unless the Fire Department Says It’s Safe
You’ll be tempted to try to go back inside your home to collect precious belongings after the flames are out. But unless you get the go-ahead from the fire department, you should never enter a scorched and damaged building.
A fire can seriously damage the structural components of your home, and if you enter without confirming that it’s safe, you could put yourself at risk for serious injury. Always check in with a qualified professional who understands fire damage and any potential risks before you re-enter your house.
Call Your Insurance Provider
When a fire strikes, contact your insurance provider immediately to inquire about what your homeowner’s insurance covers. File your claim as quickly as you can as all homeowner’s insurance policies require property owners to report their losses as promptly as possible.
Ask your insurer for disaster restoration company recommendations, so you can begin the remediation process as quickly as possible. The faster you tend to the damage, the lower your risk of further structural deterioration.
Call a Fire Restoration Company
When a fire ravages your home, damage from the flames isn’t the only thing you’ll need to worry about. Smoke from the fire can also cause significant damage to the items and surfaces inside your house. When firefighters arrive, the water they use to extinguish the flames can also cause significant water damage unless you make swift remediation efforts.
To control water damage as much as you possibly can, prompt action is critical. This where 24-hour emergency fire restoration companies come into play. These pros specialize in both fire restoration and water restoration to provide comprehensive remediation services in the aftermath of a household disaster.
Get a Fire Damage Restoration Assessment
When you call an emergency fire restoration company, they’ll arrive on site promptly and immediately get to work assessing the extent of the damage. They’ll locate a number of issues and dangers, including:
- Key hazardous areas within the property
- Areas that will require more intensive restoration efforts
- Areas that likely suffered water damage during the extinguishing process
- Areas that suffered smoke damage and require more intensive cleaning
- Parts of the home that must be tarped or boarded up to protect the home from further damage
If necessary, the restoration contractors will then begin boarding and tarping vulnerable areas to help protect any remaining belongings inside the building. When everything is secure, they’ll begin the water removal process to eliminate any standing water that may be leftover from the firefighters.
Recover Undamaged Belongings
Once you get the green light that it’s safe to enter your home, you can go ahead and start collecting any possessions you can salvage. If you don’t desperately need anything from inside your house, the fire restoration team will help you handle this task as they move forward with the restoration process.
If there’s substantial smoke damage in the house, it’s always best to leave your belongings until the contents cleaning and smoke damage cleanup teams finish their work. Since smoke residue contains multiple toxic chemicals, handling smoke-damaged items or even spending considerable time in a soot-filled building can put your health at risk.
Find a Temporary Place to Stay
You’ll need to find a temporary place to live while the fire restoration contractors complete their work. Most homeowner’s insurance policies entitle you to reimbursement for your living expenses while you’re outside of your home. This means you can claim your hotel bill, meal expenses, and any other additional living costs above and beyond what you’d normally pay while living at home.
Structural Drying, Smoke Damage Cleanup, & Contents Cleaning
With your permission, the restoration team will move forward with structural drying to eliminate any remaining surface moisture from the building. Using high-powered fans, dehumidifiers, and other commercial drying equipment, the team will dry the area as quickly as possible to prevent further structural deterioration and mold proliferation.
When surface moisture in the building reaches the appropriate level, the team will proceed with smoke damage cleanup and contents cleaning. They’ll clean up ashes, soot, char marks, smoke residue, and any other signs of smoke residue and odor on the surfaces within your home.
If any of your possessions sustained smoke damage, the contents cleaning team will thoroughly clean any residue and odors from those items as well. Keep in mind, though, that some of your belongings may not be salvageable if they sustained extensive damage.
Your insurance policy should provide reimbursement for damaged possessions, so be sure to keep a running list of those items throughout the remediation process.
Plan Necessary Renovations
Many disaster restoration companies specialize in home remodeling services to provide comprehensive service for their clients. If you’re working with such a restoration company, it’s usually in your best interest to let those contractors handle any necessary home renovations too.
If portions of your home require reconstruction, get estimates from the remodeling contractors as soon as you can. The sooner you get this information to your insurance company, the faster you can proceed with the reconstruction process and move back into your home.
Looking for Fire Restoration Services in the Twin Cities?
If your home was damaged by a fire, please contact our team at Kiser Construction right away. We specialize in fire damage restoration, smoke damage cleanup, contents cleaning, water restoration, and remodeling services for homeowners throughout the Twin Cities metro. We’re also more than happy to help you handle your insurance claim, so you can get the coverage you deserve.
To learn more about how we can help, give us a call today at 763-633-2010 or contact us online. If you require immediate assistance, please call us on our 24/7 emergency line at 612-518-8852.