Suffering a house fire can be devastating and it can be difficult to know where to begin picking up the pieces and rebuilding your home and life. Creating a plan is a great place to start and the best way to create an effective plan is to know which steps you need to take to begin cleaning up and replacing your damaged or lost items.
Here are a few steps you need to take after a house fire to help you start rebuilding your life.
Make Sure Your Family and Pets Are Ok
In the minutes after the fire, check on your family or anyone that was in the house to determine if they require any medical attention. Check for burns and signs of smoke inhalation, including a cough, hoarse voice, dark mucus, wheezing, and trouble breathing. Call 911 immediately if you notice any severe burns, signs of smoke inhalation, or if a loved one seems unwell.
Check on your pets as well. Just like humans, pets can suffer from smoke inhalation and will require a veterinarian if your pets are sick.
Contact Your Insurance Provider and Utility Provider
Next, call your insurance provider and report the fire. Do not give your insurance company other information, aside from the fact that there was a fire and your home and property suffered damage. If the police or firefighters have not, contact your utility provider. Your provider can turn off the electricity to your home.
Do not attempt to reenter your home until the electricity is shut off. You could accidentally come into contact with a live electrical socket, wire, or appliance that was damaged in the fire.
Contact a Fire Restoration Company
Finally, do not attempt to salvage any furniture or clean any smoke damaged carpets or flooring before contacting a fire restoration service. A restoration service will examine your entire structure to determine which items are able to be saved and which should be thrown out and replaced. If the smoke damage is extensive, you may attempt to salvage items that look like they are not thoroughly damaged but are actually beyond repair.
The fire restoration company will give you an estimate of the cost of cleaning up your home, including removing smoke damage and odors from floors, carpets, and other items in your home. This figure will be critical because your insurance provider will ask for this estimate.
From making sure that your family and pets do not require medical attention to calling a fire damage repair service, there are several steps you need to take after a fire.