Small house fires are the single most popular disaster in the US, with the National Fire Protection Association estimating that about 358,500 homes experience a structural fire annually. House fires can be devastating due to the massive amount of damage throughout the entire house. If you experience such a hazard, there are often many different things to deal with, so it is challenging to know what to do next. Please consider the following points if you want to know more concerning what to do after a house fire.
- Find a safe place to stay
You will always need to reside somewhere else for at least a few days following a house fire. If the fire is large and the damage is irreparable, long-term housing options might be best for you, and your insurance company can assist you with temporary housing in the meantime. However, you can stay with friends and family members for a short while until the extent of the destruction is evaluated and safety concerns are minimized.
- Call a restoration company
Damage following a house fire will be due to the flames themselves and the efforts of firefighters to extinguish the fire. Consequently, professional fire damage cleanup is crucial if your home is damaged instead of destroyed in the fire. Therefore, reach out to a reputable fire damage restoration service with years of experience in fire damage to prevent and mitigate additional property damage. Your restoration company will typically send an emergency response team to assess the destruction and secure all doors, windows, and other openings. This company will also improve your home’s ventilation and pump out water to limit water damage, mold infestation, and further damage.
- Call your insurance provider
Many experts agree that contacting your insurance agent or company should be one of the first calls you make in the aftermath of a home fire, so keep this in mind. Your insurance company needs to know about the loss, and you can ask them what you need to do immediately. Also, your insurance agent will assist you in filing a claim and restoring your property, as well as replacing your belongings. These agents can also walk you through living expenses and emergency lodging so you can figure out a temporary plan. Fire insurance typically offers a market value compensation for any lost belongings, with the total insurance payout capped based on your home’s overall value.
- Save undamaged possessions
The average loss for structure fires was a reported $25,545 in 2019. Still, there may be salvageable belongings in the wreckage after a fire, so it is always prudent to check for and save them from damage. For instance, you are likely to find essential items like documents and social security cards after a fire if you keep them in a fire-proof box. You can put any possessions that aren’t destroyed in storage or other safe places. Also, household items that weren’t destroyed in the fire will usually be ruined by soot, smoke, or the water used in extinguishing the flames. As such, you may need to have these items professionally cleaned if you intend to save them.