The first thing people think about after a house fire is what they should do next. But, unfortunately, the “what not to do” things are often overlooked. In this article, we will start with knowing what steps to take in the aftermath of a house fire; let’s start with what not to do first.
Here are some common mistakes that people make after they experience a house fire:
- Entering the house before it is safe – It is important to wait for the fire department to declare your house safe before you enter it. The structure may be unstable, and there may be hidden hazards such as electrical wires or gas leaks.
- Touching or moving items – It is essential to avoid touching or moving any items in the house, as they may be contaminated with soot and other hazardous materials. Fire damage may lead to bigger issues, which could require biohazard specialists to clean the area for safety reasons.
- Using appliances or electrical outlets – Do not use any devices or electrical outlets until they have been inspected and deemed safe by a professional.
- Throwing away damaged items – Do not throw away any items until an insurance adjuster has had a chance to assess the damage. This will help you get a more accurate assessment of the damages and make sure you are adequately compensated.
- Failing to document the damage – It is important to take photos and document the damage as soon as possible. This will help with the insurance claim process and make it easier to remember what was lost.
Now that you know the things you shouldn’t do after a house fire, we will show you what you should do after a house fire:
- Contact your insurance company – Inform your insurance company of the fire as soon as possible. They will guide you through the following steps and help you with the claims process.
- Document the damage – Take photos and list all the damage to your home and possessions. This will help with the insurance claim process and make it easier to remember what was lost.
- Secure the property – If the damage to your home is severe, you may need to secure the property to prevent further damage or injury. This may involve boarding up windows, tarping the roof, or installing temporary fencing.
- Salvage what you can – Carefully go through your home and see what can be salvaged. Wear protective clothing, gloves, and a mask, and be cautious of any hazards, such as broken glass or unstable objects.
- Clean up – Once the house is safe to enter, start cleaning up as much as possible. Remove any debris and start cleaning surfaces to prevent further damage from soot and smoke.
- Hire professionals – Consider hiring professionals to help with the cleanup and restoration process. They have the necessary equipment and expertise to safely and effectively restore your home.
- Seek support – A house fire can be a traumatic experience, and it is important to seek support from friends, family, and professionals such as a therapist or support group.
Fire is dangerous, can take down an entire forest in a matter of minutes, and is a force to be reckoned with. A fire can quickly cause a world of damage to your home in many different ways. Some of the most typical types of damage include:
- Structural damage – The fire itself can damage the structure of the house, including the walls, floors, and roof.
- Water damage – Water used to extinguish the fire can cause additional damage to the house and belongings.
- Electrical damage – The fire and water used to extinguish that fire can damage electrical systems and appliances.
- Psychological damage – A house fire can be a traumatic experience and cause psychological damage to those affected.
Unfortunately, the damage extends from there. Where there’s fire, there’s smoke (something like that, right?). Smoke damage is just as destructive as the damage caused by the actual flames of the fire.
Items inside your home that may be damaged from smoke include:
- Furniture – Smoke can leave a lingering odor on furniture and cause discoloration of fabrics.
- Clothing and other textiles – Smoke can leave a strong odor on clothing and other textiles and may be difficult, if not impossible, to remove. Some of these items may be considered “throwaways.”
- Appliances – Smoke can damage the internal components of appliances such as refrigerators, ovens, washing machines, and microwaves.
- Electronics – Smoke can damage the internal components of electronics such as TVs, computers, and phones.
- Artwork and other decorations – Smoke can discolor artwork and other decorative items, including family photos.
- Books and documents – Smoke can damage paper items such as books and manuscripts. However, don’t jump the gun on throwing away your books. The binding may be damaged, but the pages inside may be untouched.
Paper items should be handled with care, regardless of the extent of the damage. If they are fragile, they may crumble if they’re not handled very carefully.
There are several reasons why it is a good idea to use a professional for fire and smoke damage cleanup:
- Expertise – Professional fire and smoke damage restoration companies have the necessary expertise to safely and effectively clean and restore your home. They have the knowledge and experience to identify and address all the different types of damage caused by a fire.
- Equipment – Professional companies have specialized equipment and tools designed to remove soot, smoke, and other contaminants from your home. Using professional equipment will prevent further damage to the house.
- Safety – A fire and smoke damage restoration company will take the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of your home and family. Before beginning the cleanup process, they will identify and address any hazards, such as unstable structures or electrical issues.
- Efficiency – A professional company can complete the cleanup process quickly and safely. This can save you time and allow you to focus on other important tasks related to the fire.
- Peace of mind – Working with a professional company can give you peace of mind, knowing that your home is being cleaned and restored by experienced professionals committed to your satisfaction.
Call Western Disaster Clean Up Today.
Are you looking for a professional fire damage cleaning service? Look no further. Western Disaster Clean Up has trained professionals who can help restore your home to comfortable and safe living conditions. Contact us today, and let’s get started.