A house fire can be a traumatic event for the entire family. It also can be a hectic and chaotic time. You may not know what to do next, but the actions you take right after a house fire are extremely important. Here’s a list of steps to take when your house burns down to protect you and your family, as well as your belongings.
Reach Out for Help
You don’t have to deal with the aftermath of a house fire alone. This is the time to reach out to your friends, family members, and community groups for support. One of the first steps to take after a house fire is to find a place for your family to stay until you can figure out an alternative solution. Be sure to contact your local Red Cross. This organization may be able to help with some of your immediate needs, including food, clothing, and shelter.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance will provide the financial resources you need to replace your damaged belongings. Be sure to contact your insurance company to report the fire as soon as possible. Your agent can help you through the process of filing a claim to make sure you receive a settlement as soon as possible.
Communicate with the Fire Department
You should never reenter your home after a house fire until the fire department says it’s safe to do so. It’s essential to communicate with the fire department so you know what additional steps, if any, must be taken to secure your home. You also should ask the fire department to provide you with a copy of the official fire report when it’s completed. Your insurance will likely require a copy of this document.
Call in the Professionals for Clean Up
Do not attempt to clean up the fire damage on your own. The residue left from a house fire can be hazardous if you don’t know how to handle it properly. This biohazardous material can cause undue health risks or create additional damage if the debris is not cleared away correctly. Instead, call in the professionals. Fire, smoke, and water restoration experts can remove this debris without posing additional risks to you or your family.
Make a List of Damaged Items
A day or two after the fire, take some time to make a list of all the items that were damaged. Try to be as detailed as possible when making this list. This information will help you when filling out your insurance claim, and it will ensure that you are compensated for all your lost items.
The most important thing is to take a deep breath and try to stay calm. There are many community members, organizations, and companies that are ready to help. If you are dealing with the aftermath of a house fire, contact Service Master today. We have the tools, equipment, and experience to handle even the toughest fire and smoke damage restoration projects.