People may not realize the risks involved in setting fire to their homes. There are many things that could start a fire like an electric fire in the kitchen, an electrical dryer, or a chimney or fireplace. Even in rooms that have never been engulfed by flames, high heat can cause plastic to melt, paint to blister, glass windows to crack, and much more. Personal belongings, appliances, and equipment that remain standing can be irreparably damaged.
It can be overwhelming to figure out what to do after a house fire. Is there anything you should do to get insurance? Is it safe after the fire is out? What chance do you have of ever getting your belongings back? It is normal to feel confused or unsure about where to go or what to do. This seven-step guide on what to do after a fire disaster will walk you through exactly what you should do after a fire. It will also help you get on the road to recovery. Be sure to all check this guide if you plan to remove smoke damage on your own, even though we don’t suggest this as a professional is the best option after you have dealt with fire damage to your home.
7 Steps On How To Respond To A House Fire
1. Talk To Your Family
Although it may seem obvious, in the moment, it is easy to become overwhelmed and confused, forgetting even basic tasks. Check in with others if you were not alone at the time of the fire and make sure they are all okay. It can be quite traumatizing depending on how large the fire was and how old the people involved are. Next, take a moment to contact family members who may not be with you. Tell them what happened, and let them know the status of all your family members and friends. Call a friend if none of your family members live nearby. As you start the fire restoration process, it is important to have support. You should also contact the property owners if you rent your house. They can take decisions regarding the property and start the recovery process.
2. House Fire Insurance
Common questions include: What to do after a fire in your home? It is important to remember that your homeowners insurance company will not contact you if a fire breaks out. After you have spoken to your family, this is the first thing you should do. This will begin the event documentation process and the insurance claim process. Your agent should have experience in handling property emergencies. They can also help you with living expenses and emergency lodging. They can also connect you with companies that offer smoke damage repair or fire damage reconstruction. 911 Restoration (SFV) is one of the best restoration companies. They will work with your insurance company to clean up fire damage. It is important to be clear about who will pay for which parts of the restoration. You should have a written copy of each agreement. Get a copy from the fire department. This report can be useful in providing additional information to your insurance agency.
Help After House Fire No Insurance
Most homeowners have homeowners insurance. However, not all homeowners have it. You will still have to pay the mortgage loan and any interest. Your personal property may also be an important factor if you don’t have homeowner’s insurance. Homeowners insurance can provide protection for personal property if your house is set on fire. You’ll have to pay the entire cost of home insurance on your own. Other options include charities or hiring an attorney if it wasn’t your fault.
3. Find Out If Your Home Is Salvageable
Ever wonder how hot a housefire is? Ready.gov states that a house fire can heat up to 600 degrees at eye level, and 100 at floor level. It is hot enough to burn your lungs if inhaled. This type of heat can cause structural damage and other problems to your home. Most likely, your insurance company will send an adjuster out to assess the fire damage to your house. The adjuster will determine if the fire damage can be saved or if the home must be rebuilt. Professional fire damage cleanup is required if your home has been burned or damaged by the fire. Direct damage caused by the fire must be repaired or replaced. Heat, smoke, and soot could also cause damage to your house and possessions. To prevent or minimize the water damage caused by the firefighters extinguishing the fire, you might need water mitigation. Sometimes, fire damage to your property can go beyond what the eye can perceive. Make sure you work with a fire damage restoration team that has IICRC-certified fire and smoke restoration technicians who are familiar with where to begin.
4. How To Determine If Your Home Is Safe
You should not enter any house or building that has been burned by fire. Only after the fire department has inspected your home, can you enter. Even if the fires appear extinguished, they can start again and almost always cause hidden damage. You might find that your roof or floors are damaged and may fall while you are inside. Inhaling smoke or soot for long periods of time can pose health risks. Once you have been given permission to safely re-enter your house, you should make sure you concentrate on retrieving important paperwork and valuables such as passports, medical records, birth certificates, and medical records. You should not bring any food or cosmetics with you. The high heat and smoke content in these items could cause you injury. You should only take out the prescription medication packaging to be able to get replacements. Do not ingest or take medicine from a house that has been burned.
5. Organise Your Possessions
It will be easier to create a list of your damaged possessions and your unaffected ones for your insurance company. A list of all your personal possessions can be very useful in this situation. These lists can often include receipts and bank statements for purchased items. Photos can be helpful when you file a claim.
6. Undamaged Possessions Can Be Saved
You or the fire damage restoration company will need to go through your belongings. There will likely be salvageable items within the wreckage. This is especially true if certain documents or items like social security cards were saved in a fireproof box. Anything that isn’t damaged or destroyed should go in a safe place. It is possible for household items to be damaged by the smoke, soot or water used to extinguish the flames. You will need to take care of any items you wish to save.
7. Find Somewhere To Stay During The Fire Damage Restoration Process
Most homeowner’s policies cover the cost of food, clothing, shelter, and other necessities for your family for a set period. You can contact the local disaster relief agencies such as the American Red Cross, the church or your family to help you find safe accommodation while restoration work is underway.
Water Damage From Fire Fighting Efforts
If you don’t act quickly to stop it, the water used to extinguish flames can cause serious water damage as well as mold growth. You will most likely need to contact a fire damage restoration company due to the fire damage and this. They will find a variety of dangers and issues, including:
- There are certain areas that can be dangerous.
- These areas will need more intensive restoration efforts
- Firefighting likely caused water damage to parts of the house.
- Smoke-damaged areas require more intensive cleaning
- To protect the home against further damage, parts of the house must be boarded or tarped.
The restoration contractors may then board and tarp areas to protect your belongings and prevent further damage.
What Is The Maximum Time You Can Move Back In After A Fire?
The extent of damage to your home will determine how long it takes to move in after a fire. If there was minimal damage to your home, you may be able to return to your home within a few days. However, if your home has been severely damaged, you might need to re-inhabit it for several months. Here are some examples of how long it takes to get back in after a large, small or medium-sized fire.
Repairs to a small fire won’t take long, especially if the fire is in a single room. The primary concern is to remove soot and odors from the fire. The fire repair team will inform you about the time it will take to complete the restoration.
Your home will need to be repaired and cleaned up if it has been damaged by a moderate-sized fire. You may have damage to your walls, floors, furniture and other properties. It will depend on how severe the damage is.
Large fires can cause severe damage to your house. It will take several weeks to repair and rebuild your home.
What Can Be Salvaged From A House Fire?
While house fires can be very destructive, there are things you can salvage after a fire. After a fire, you can salvage clothes such as curtains or clothes if they weren’t set on fire. To remove the soot and smoke, these items can be washed in a washing machine. Other salvagable items include nonporous items. Glass and metals are most resistant to fires. These items can be easily cleaned and reused after a fire. However, porous items such as clothing, upholstery and books can be more difficult to salvage. These items often require special contents cleaning methods to remove smoke damage and soot.
What Can I Do After A House Fire?
911 Restoration SFV can help you get help after a fire in your house. We have decades of experience in restoring properties from smoke and fire damage.