A house fire is a devastating experience that will turn your life and home inside out. Whether the fire was big or small, your home still suffers fire and smoke damage, and firefighting efforts can also cause extensive water damage. If you have recently experienced a house fire, getting back on your feet depends on knowing what to do after a fire and what to avoid.
Steamatic of Red River Valley is dedicated to helping families stay safe in their homes, including home restoration services after a fire. We are here to help you keep your family safe while returning your home to its once cozy, livable conditions.
Today, the Steamatic team would like to share a few helpful tips for those suffering after a house fire so that you can take the best steps toward reclaiming your house and your life.
5 Things to Do After a House Fire
What should you do after a house fire? Here are five things every homeowner (or renter) should do if a fire occurs.
1. Contact Insurance and Open Your Claim
After everyone is safe and the fire is out, contact your insurance and open a claim. You won’t officially file your claim until all the paperwork is ready, but your insurance agent should be able to help you begin the process and give you a list of things you will need to do or collect to follow through on your house fire insurance coverage.
2. Find Somewhere Else to Stay
Next, make alternate living arrangements. A house fire usually means that you cannot or should not stay in your home until the damage is repaired. If you need time and wifi access, take your family to a restaurant with wifi and enjoy a warm, safe meal while making arrangements for your next few weeks.
3. Take Photos and Video of the Damage
You will need detailed images of the damage. Without disturbing anything, use your phone to capture photographs and video of the damage exactly as the fire left it for your insurance claim.
4. Collect Documentation of Costs and Details
Every cost that results from the fire and all relevant information should be kept together in a folder and included in your insurance claim.
5. Get an Estimate for Professional Restoration
Once your insurance is lined up, and your family is safe, call for fire damage restoration services. Steamatic of Red River Valley can help you begin with fire restoration in Grand Forks or Fargo, depending on where you live. Our goal is to help you make your home livable and smoke-free.
5 Things Not to Do After a House Fire
What shouldn’t you do after a house fire? A few very specific common mistakes are easy to avoid if you know how.
1. Do Not Stay in an Unsafe Home
First, do not stay in a home that has recently experienced fire damage. Fire can cause structural damage, and the home may not be as safe as it looks, even if the fire was limited to a small area of the house.
2. Don’t Disturb the Scene
Do not move, retrieve, clean, throw away, or replace anything until your insurance assessment is complete. The insurance company wants to examine your house exactly as the fire left it, so don’t go back for personal items in the fire-affected area or begin restoration without the insurance go-ahead.
3. Do Not Cancel Your Utilities
You may be tempted to cancel your utilities to the house, but we advise against it. While shutting off the breaker box, gas line, and water main is a good idea, leave the utilities connected so that restoration services can use things like electricity and water while your home is being restored.
4. Don’t Submit an Incomplete Insurance Claim
Make sure your insurance claim is complete and thorough before submitting it. This one-chance issue could determine whether the fire costs are paid.
5. Don’t Think You Are Alone
Lastly, many organizations will help a family who has just experienced a house fire. If you need somewhere to stay, money, or if all your clothes were lost in the blaze, ask for help and research local charitable organizations that can help your family.
Dealing With Water Damage from Fire-Fighting Efforts
Water damage is also a common side effect of a house fire because of firefighting efforts. You would also need water restoration services if your home was soaked to put out the fire. You can find expert water restoration in Grand Forks and Fargo with Steamatic of Red River Valley.
After the Fire Department, Call Steamatic for Your Fire and Smoke Damage Restoration Needs
Have you recently been through a fire at home? It’s important to know what to do after a house fire, and Steamatic of Red River Valley is here to help. When it comes time to restore your home from fire, smoke, and water damage, contact us for reliable expert services and a compassionate team for your current difficulties. Schedule cleaning and restoration services today.
Image Source: Vadim Ratnikov / Andrii Yalanskyi / Shutterstock