Relief may be your first reaction after a small house fire. The home was saved and no one was hurt. It doesn’t take long, however, for other emotions to come into play. Is the structure of the home safe? Can belongings be salvaged from fire damage? Will home insurance cover the expense of repairs? After a fire, it’s critical to take proper precautionary steps to ensure your family’s safety and to return your life to normalcy as quickly as possible. These six tips can help.
1. Call the Fire Department
Even a small fire in your home or garage can pose hazards after its extinguished. The fire department will determine whether your home is safe to enter and whether utilities are safe to use. They’ll also provide you with documentation that will be useful when filing an insurance claim.
2. Assess Structural Damage
Even if the fire department indicates that the effected area of the home is safe to enter, you’ll want to ensure that repairs can take place without stressing the structural integrity of your home. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) encourages homeowners to enlist the assistance of a professional fire damage restoration company like Dry Express Restoration to assess and repair fire damage.
3. Contacting Insurance Companies
You’ll want a clear idea of what the restoration will cost before contacting your insurance company. Dry Express Restoration will assess your home’s fire damage and provide you with an estimate that you can present to your insurance company to get the process started and in most cases the insurance carrier will want the emergency services such as associated dryout, due to the Fire Department or fire suppression systems; boardup; and protection of high value contents and items immediately. Dry Express Restoration can walk you through the process.
4. Retrieving Belongings
Even when the fire-damaged area is deemed safe to enter, you’ll want to wear protective clothing when retrieving belongings to protect your health from soot and other contaminants. Wear protective glasses, gloves and footwear.
5. Salvaging Tips
If household appliances have been exposed to water or fire retardant, have them checked before using them. Discard any open food and washed canned goods in detergent. Save valuable wet books and documents by placing them in a vacuum freezer that will dry them without causing further damage. Oil hardware like hinges and locks. A mix of tri-sodium phosphate, bleach and water can effectively remove the odor of soot and smoke from fabrics.
6. Don’t Go It Alone
Cleaning up after a home fire can be physically and emotionally challenging. Dry Express Restoration services include full home restoration, handling all the cleanup, repairs and fire restoration tasks that your home may require after a small or large house fire. Call us today! 619.597.2003