A house fire can be devastating, regardless of if it’s big or small. The shock of it is real. Sometimes, it’s difficult to think clearly and remember what to do as it occurs and immediately after. There are several key things to keep in mind when dealing with the aftermath of a fire.
- Make sure you and your family and pets get out of the house and stay out of harm’s way.
- Call the Fire Department, even if it seems small to start.
- Call your insurance company and start the process of a claim immediately.
- Don’t go into your home until the Fire Department tells you it is safe to enter.
- Once it’s safe, inventory your belongings and identify what has been damaged.
- Find an alternative place to stay if your home has been too damaged by the fire or smoke.
- Recover from the damage by bringing in a professional to clean up and repair or rebuild.
While some of these might seem like common sense, we often lose the ability to focus during an event like a house fire.
Keep Your Loved Ones Safe
Yes, it’s No. 1 on the list for a reason. Don’t hesitate, get everyone out. Even if you think it’s a small fire or containable. Don’t risk anyone’s safety. In addition, once you are out, stay out. Don’t run back in for things you forgot or valuables.
Call the Fire Department
It sounds silly doesn’t it, as you would think it is common sense, however, some big house fires start out very small. A homeowner may think they can put out the flames with a hose or a blanket, only to find it spreading too quickly. While you will want to try, make sure someone is dialing 911 and asking the fire department to come and back you up. A professional firefighter will be able to tell if there are any hidden dangers of which you should be aware.
Call Your Insurance Company
Don’t wait. It’s important that you call the insurance company to begin the process of filing your claim as soon as possible after the event. If you forget what you need for the claim, your agent or customer service representatives should guide you through the process. Notifying them immediately of a house fire is in your best interest.
Stay Out Until Safe
The fire is out, however, it may not be safe to enter the home. Wait until the fire department tells you it’s okay before you re-enter your house. Even then, be aware of hidden dangers in the areas that are damaged. Structural damage could be lurking in walls and under carpets. Electronics may have unseen melted wires or parts. Exercise great caution after a house fire and never go back into the structure until the professionals tell you it’s okay.
Take an Inventory
As soon as you can return, take an inventory of your household contents. Of course, it’s better to have this accomplished before a fire and stored in a safe place, however, it’s important to get it finished as soon as possible, especially if you can’t stay in the house. Make sure you list and indicate everything that is damaged by the fire.
Find an Alternative Shelter
Call friends and family or local resources for a place to stay if your home is too damaged or saturated by smoke. It’s important that your family have a safe and healthy place to sleep for the night until you can get things handled.
Bring in Professionals to Help
A house fire causes more damage than just things getting burned. Things like curtains, rugs, carpets, bedspreads, etc. will hold the smell of the smoke unless cleaned properly. Be sure to find a professional who specializes in smoke damage to clean anything that will absorb the smell. Also, be aware of mildew from water from putting out the fire. It can be lurking throughout the area if not properly dried out by a professional. Of course, any rebuilding of the structure or rooms should be handled by a professional who can safely remove the damage and rebuild to code. Look for service providers who will work directly with your insurance company to save you time.
At Josh Smalling Roofing and Restoration Co., we have the experience to help you work through the process of restoring your home to its pre-fire condition. We will work directly with your insurance adjuster to ensure all of the damage is repaired. Fires are a tragedy, but we can help you get through it and minimize the stress on you and your family. Contact us at 317-483-3093. Whether it’s a house fire, water, or wind damage, we can help.