A fire can be one of the most life-changing and devastating things that someone ever has to encounter. Unlike many other types of disasters, fire damage is often total and irreversible, leaving physical, mental, and emotional devastation in its wake.
Despite this, there can still be salvageable items following a house fire if the homeowner takes the appropriate steps immediately. Anything that wasn’t damaged in the fire itself is likely to be soggy and damaged from soot, smoke, and the water used to put out the fire. Anything that can be saved must be gathered and the restoration process started immediately.
To improve your chances of salvaging some of your possessions or even much of your home, follow these steps:
Call Your Insurance Company
Calling your insurance company is the first step you want to take. Your insurance representative will be able to get the ball rolling on your claim and can help assess the damage to your home. An insurance representative will likely take pictures of the damage to assist with the claim process, but it is a good idea for you to take your own photos as well just in case the insurance company missed anything or tries to compensate you less than you feel you deserve.
Contact a Restoration Company
An insurance representative will likely give you a recommendation for a restoration company, but you do not have to use the company recommended if you do not want to. Get several estimates, but also keep in mind that response time is critical in situations following house fires, so you’ll need to make sure you choose someone that can not only provide you with a high quality of work, but also get started immediately!
Contact Family Members or Disaster Relief Organizations
Generally, following a fire, homeowners are left without a place to live. Those with the ability to will often opt to stay with family while things are cleared up and they are able to find a more permanent residence, but if this is not an option, disaster relief organizations like FEMA and the Red Cross can help place you in temporary shelter and help with your initial needs.
Secure Your Property
A restoration company should be able to help with the board-up and security of your home. This will help prevent looting or other unlawful entry and may also help protect the interior of your home from the elements until repair work can be completed. Some companies offer board-up services, but not restoration services. For the sake of ease, speed, and convenience, it is best to go with a company that can provide all the fire restoration services you require.
Contact Your Bank and Other Financial Institutions
Get in touch with your mortgage lender as soon as possible. You should also contact your credit card company to request replacements if any of your cards were damaged or destroyed in the fire. If important financial documents were lost, these will need to be replaced, so always keep a digital copy—or at least a digital list of important financial documents.
Professional Fire Damage Restoration
If you follow these steps, you will have covered the most critical first steps to dealing with a house fire. Although it can take years for everything to be completely settled and back to normal, the first few days are the most difficult and the most important. Making the right decisions and being prepared can save you a lot of hassle, emotional stress, and money.
If you have experienced a fire at your home or business and you are in need of emergency restoration services, contact Action Restoration today! We’ll help you navigate through your insurance paperwork and file your claim—minimizing work for you and getting your fire restoration work underway more quickly!