For most homeowners, the thought of a fire is the most tragic thing they can imagine. However, accidents are inevitable, and they happen when we least expect them. A home fire can have devastating effects, and not just on the possessions they touch but also on the lives they impact. There can be plenty of emotions and several questions following a house fire, and it’s difficult to know what to do next. Knowing who can help and what to do is key to getting your life back together. Here are important things to do after a house fire.
1. Find a safe place to stay
Fire accidents can be terrifying, especially for children and pets. You will need a safe place to stay for a few days to give your family time to relax as you plan your next moves. Whatever the size of the fire, you will need another place to stay to give space and time for the property to be inspected to ensure its safe for reoccupying. Even after a small fire, the house needs to be thoroughly cleaned of soot, ash, smoke, and burned materials before you start living there again.
2. Contact your insurance agent
You need to call your insurance agent as soon as possible to inform them about the loss and set the claim process in motion. It also allows you to start the fire damage restoration project. In addition, your insurance agent should advise you on how to prevent further damage and secure your home.
3. Secure your home
Typically, your homeowner’s policy covers your property when it’s damaged by fire, but most policies require you to secure your home to avoid further damage or destruction, including damage from the element and other people. Before you leave the property, ensure you board up any openings or doors and windows that may have been destroyed by the fire. You can then contact the police and inform them that you will be away from the property for a few days so they can help watch the house as well.
4. Plan your finances
Despite the fire, your financial responsibilities won’t stop. While your policy may cover the restoration costs and mortgage, it’s important you plan your finances for other recurring costs. You also need to cancel your cable and internet services if you will be staying away from the property for some time.
5. Call a restoration company
After talking to your insurance agent, they can give you the go-ahead to find a restoration company to help you with immediate concerns like securing your home from weather or break-ins and water damage. The sooner the company starts the process, the easier it will be to evaluate and act on the damage.
Moving on after a house fire can be daunting and can sometimes feel downright impossible. However, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming if you know what to do. If you just suffered a house fire, find a safe place to stay, call your insurance agent, secure your home and get the right fire damage restoration company to rebuild your home.