During a fire, you’re moving on instinct. You try to put out the fire, but if it’s too large or quickly out of control, you call the fire department to deal with the blaze. As long as your family is safe outside, you should allow the fire department to get the fire under control.
After the fire department has left the scene, it’s tough to know what to do next. The potential loss of your personal possessions as well as valuables can be overwhelming. Before entering the home, it’s essential that you perform a few steps.
1. Evaluation of the Structure
The fire itself could have weakened or destroyed the structure of the home. The water used to control the blaze can further damage the home. The floors can be weak from water and fire damage. The walls could be soaked with water and burned by fire. You’re taking a risk entering the home without having a professional inspection. While you might be anxious to see the inside of your fire ravaged home, it’s safer to wait for a professional to tell you it’s okay to enter.
2. Insurance Coverage: Learn What’s Covered
While you’re waiting for a professional inspection of the home, call your insurance company. The homeowner’s insurance on the home should cover some fire and water damage depending on the type of policy that you have. Before you think about cleaning and restoring your home, find out how much the insurance policy covers and how much will have to come out of your pocket. It makes the next step easier too. Fire damage is only a part of the damage that a fire can cause to the home. Water and smoke damage are just as devastating, and you should find out what is covered in your policy.
3. Evaluation and Professional Restoration
When the inspector has given you a green light to enter your home, it will be difficult not to be devastated by the sense of loss from the water and fire damage. Sadly, you’re going to have to do an inventory of things destroyed in the fire like papers, pictures and memories that can’t be returned to you. The furniture and large pieces can be restored by a professional restoration company. Within a day or two, you’ll need to contact the restoration company because water can seep into the wood and start causing the production of mold immediately.
4. Removing Fire, Smoke and Water Damage
Instead of trashing all your belongings because they are covered in soot and water, the restoration company will let you know what can be restored to it’s condition prior to the fire, and what will need to be thrown out into the trash. They can dry out the home with the proper equipment. After the home is dried, they will remove smoke and soot from surfaces then sanitize to take the smell out of the home.
Fire damage can be especially devastating, but the smoke and water damage can create a long-lasting impact on your home and belongings too.