An average of 346,800 house fires occur in the US each year. These fires result in property damage worth billions, injuries, and, in severe cases, death. If you are the unfortunate victim of a house fire, knowing the right steps to take immediately after the fire can make your ordeal less overwhelming.
Discover six steps you can take to help you recover from a house fire.
1. Take Care of Yourself and Your Family
Your and your family’s safety is a priority. Therefore, immediately after a house fire, ensure everyone in your household is safe. Besides burns, someone may sustain a smoke inhalation injury during a fire. Smoke inhalation is the leading cause of fire-related deaths.
Smoke inhalation may result in carbon monoxide poisoning, asphyxiation, thermal injuries to the upper parts of the airway, and chemical injury to the breathing system. Take any injured people to the hospital and have the doctor examine everyone to ensure none of you has a smoke inhalation injury.
2. Get a Copy of the Fire Report
Visit your local fire department and request a copy of the fire report. The report will detail possible causes of the fire, the state of your home, and the time and date of the fire. A fire report will come in handy in assessing the damage to your home and taking measures to resolve the cause of the fire.
3. Assess the Damage
Once you get clearance to enter your home, examine your home to identify what got damaged in the fire and what is salvageable. First, check if your credit cards, driver’s license, and identification documents are intact. You may also check each room in the house to identify which areas sustained significant damage in the fire.
Assessing the damage to your home is essential for when you will talk with your insurance provider and plan who can help you plan for repairs and restoration.
4. Talk to Your Insurance Company
When you call your insurance agent, you first need to do is inform them about the fire, then inquire on what steps you can take next. Ask your insurance provider for advance compensation against your eventual claim if the fire forced you and your family to vacate your home. This money will help you make necessary arrangements for your family as you wait for the ultimate coverage.
Record all damages and losses from the fire, and track your living expenses to ensure you get full compensation. You may also take pictures of the damaged areas in your house to keep a good inventory of your losses.
5. Call a Fire Damage Restoration Contractor
Working with a professional is essential if you want to restore your home to its former state. A fire restoration contractor will help you salvage any undamaged property and may help you take inventory of the damage to your home.
Sometimes, the residue from a fire can be corrosive, and attempting to clean it up yourself may result in an injury. A fire restoration contractor has the proper training and equipment necessary to handle hazardous residuals from fire and restore your house’s structural elements.
6. Recover Undamaged Items
Move undamaged furniture, fixtures, and properties from your home to give your restoration contractor room to fix your home. You may also want to clean up all the items you recover from the fire to eliminate soot and other contaminants. Cleaning up your upholstery and appliances may require the services of a professional cleaning company.
You may also recover sentimental items that have not sustained significant damage and repair them.
Restoration is key for effective recovery after a fire. Therefore, ensure you contact a fire restoration professional to help you rebuild your home. Contact the damage remediation contractors at Disaster Masters today for fire damage restoration services in Central Arkansas and the surrounding areas.