Did you know that small house fires are the most common disaster in the United States? Between the fire and the heat it generates, the smoke, and the water used to extinguish the fire, the damage to a house can be extensive. If you’ve suffered through a house fire, what should you do next?
- The first step is to touch base with your family. Establish that all the family members who were involved in the fire are ok, both physically and mentally. Then reach out to family members and close friends who were not with you, to let them know what happened. If you’re renting your house, you should also call the landlord immediately.
- Contact your insurance company as soon as possible. This will speed the insurance claim process along. Your insurance company can help pay for things like emergency lodging and living expenses, as well as helping you determine what needs to be done in terms of fire damage restoration and the repair of smoke damage. Get a copy of the fire report from the fire department and get all of your restoration and repair agreements in writing.
- Be aware that the house might not be safe. Fires that seem to be out can start again. Further, fire damage can weaken the roof and floors, making them unstable. Breathing in smoke and soot is bad for your lungs, so it’s best to reenter the house as little as possible. When you do get the go-ahead to safely reenter, focus on gathering valuables and important paperwork. Do not try to salvage food, cosmetic items, or medications, because these things can be damaged by high heat and smoke. This can make them dangerous for your health.
- Determine whether your home can be salvaged. The average house fire burns between 100 degrees at the floor and 600 degrees at eye level, and that kind of heat can be devastating to a house. Never enter a house after a fire until the fire department gives you the go-ahead, and don’t try to clean anything until the insurance adjustor has completed the inspection. Your house may need to be demolished and rebuilt but even if it doesn’t, you’ll need a professional restoration company to restore it.
- Organize your personal belongings. Separate the damaged possessions from the undamaged ones, making a list of things that have been damaged for your insurance company. Document everything with receipts, if possible, and take pictures of the damage. You may need to sort through everything to determine what can be saved, or your professional restoration company may handle that for you. Things that are salvageable need to be removed from the house and put in a safe place.
If your home is damaged by a fire, contact the fire damage experts at Pacific Flood Restoration. We offer full-service, 24-hour, on-call emergency services, and we’ve earned a reputation for being dependable, on time, courteous, and ethical. No matter the extent of your damage, our trained technicians have the experience, proven techniques, and state-of-the-art equipment to restore your home, fixing whatever damage it may have sustained. Call 760.516.8549, or contact us through our website.