What to Do After a House Fire: A Checklist
A house fire is a traumatic and heart-wrenching experience for anyone, and it can be challenging to know how to proceed if you suffer from one. House fires happen rapidly, but a quick recovery can begin as soon as the fire is put out. That’s why it’s important to have an idea of how to proceed beforehand, and the following checklist will help inform you and your family of what to do after a house fire.
What NOT to Do After a House Fire
It can be challenging to know where to start, but you also don’t want to make a bad situation worse and make mistakes while fighting through an arduous process. Here are a few things to avoid doing if you’re in a house fire.
- Do NOT remain in your home: Exit as soon as you can and remember not to re-enter unless firefighters declare your home safe to enter.
- Do NOT turn on water, gas, or other utilities: Odds are, firefighters will turn these off, so do not turn them on unless cleared.
- Do NOT throw away any items from your home: For insurance and salvage purposes, you don’t want to throw any items away in case they can be repaired or reimbursed.
Secure Your Family
Before you do ANYTHING, you should console your family. In such a hectic moment, you want to find time to calm your mind, and consoling your family can help to give everyone a bit of comfort. Make sure you gather each individual and remember that you’re in this together. Contact other family members, alert them of the situation, and see if they can provide you with any assistance.
Secure Your Home
Once you are allowed to enter your home, you first want to begin the restoration process by taking note of your damages and protecting the remaining intact items. Once the fire is put out, your insurance company may not cover any additional damages, so your first goal should be securing your home.
If the home fire was relatively small, you’ll probably have a more secure home and have lost less of your belongings. A large fire or heavy structural damage means that you might have to begin boarding up windows and doors to keep intruders out. In addition, you want to be aware of inclement weather that could soil any surviving items or damage your home more.
Remove Smoke Damage
Smoke and soot present in your home from the fire can damage the other parts of your home and even make your home inhabitable. While it’s wise to turn to soot cleaning services, you should get started by placing separate bowls of baking soda, vinegar, charcoal, and ground coffee around the house to get rid of the smell. In addition, scrub surfaces like your walls and tables with a mixture of water, vinegar, and dish soap.
Remove Water Damage
Firefighters fighting the fire use a ton of water, and because of this, your home will probably have multiple wet spots. Use a humidifier to dry out of rooms, and grab a shop vac to assist in soaking up water from couches, beds, and chairs.
Remove Personal Belongings
The best way to protect your personal belongings is to remove them from your home and keep them on your person or near you. Search for items like social security cards, passports, home-ownership documents, and other mementos that you don’t want to leave behind. Also, consider renting a storage unit or a truck to take your belongings to a separate location.
Contact Your Insurance Company
If your house is damaged and you don’t have a place to stay, you can contact the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, or other local disaster relief service. After that, calling your insurance agent and starting your insurance claim is a must, as you want to begin the process of getting back your lost items. Requesting a fire report from the firefighters can also help you during the insurance process.
Insurance companies may also provide funds to help assist in either getting belongings back or securing a temporary location for you to reside in. Save a few receipts, or jot down any items you’ve purchased after the restoration process in case your insurance offers to reimburse your recovery expenses.
Contact Your Local Restoration Company to Get Your Home Back!
A house fire is a harrowing ordeal for any family to endure, and to get back on your feet, consider a restoration service. Restoration services can repair your home from fire, water and smoke damage, and more. Restoration companies also work to provide excellent and safe cleanup and are available on the spot whenever you need your home repaired.
If you’re looking for a restoration service to help your family recover from a tragic incident, you won’t have to worry with CPR Restoration. No one should have to deal with a fire, and recovering families should have the best restoration service for their personal property. Turn to CPR Restoration, and we will get you and your family up and running as soon as possible.