There aren’t many things as devastating as a house fire, and it is perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed or grief-stricken when your world just went up in smoke. Take a deep breath and try to relax — stressing over the situation will not make the long process move quicker. After a fire, there are so many emotions that might make it challenging to determine what to do next. To help you during this stressful time, our fire restoration specialists at Maven Construction Group have put together a list of what you should do after a house fire.
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One of the first things you should do after a fire is to contact your insurance company to begin event documentation and the insurance claims process. From there, an insurance agent can talk you through emergency lodging and living expenses. They will also be able to put you in touch with a reliable restoration company that does fire damage restoration and smoke damage repair, like Maven Restoration. Make sure that you have physical, written copies of every agreement, including a copy of a fire report that can be acquired through your local fire department.
It is normal to feel overwhelmed or confused after a house fire, and with all these emotions, forgetting basic things is commonplace. House fires can be traumatizing, so make sure to check in on everyone involved. Contact any family members who weren’t around, give them information on what happened, and tell them the status of those with you. It is important to have a strong support system during this time, so we recommend calling a close friend if you have no local family members.
After a fire, it is crucial to have your pets checked by a veterinarian as their lungs could be damaged by smoke and burn wounds can hide under their fur. Just as fires are scary for your human family, pets can also get scared and react by biting or scratching. Make sure to handle your pets calmly, carefully, and gently to not further harm them or yourself. Keep your furry friends safe, and keep them out of the house until restoration and clean-up are complete.
Due to structural damage caused by the fire, an insurance company will likely have to send someone to inspect the damages done and decide whether your home must be demolished or can be rebuilt. Depending on how badly your house has been damaged, it might need professional fire damage cleanup. In addition to fire damage cleanup, you may need water mitigation to reduce water damage after the firefighters put the fire out.
Do not enter the building until the fire department has cleared it and says it is safe to enter. Roofs and floors with fire damage could collapse while you are inside, and fires can start again even though they may appear to have died down. When you are allowed inside the house, focus on collecting your valuables and important paperwork. Make sure to grab any prescription medication so you can get refills. Do not take or inject medicines from a burned house as they can absorb smoke and other contaminants from the fire.
Many homeowner’s insurance policies will pay for clothing, food, and shelter after a fire. If a long-term housing solution is needed, many insurance companies can help you find a safe place to stay during restorations. Many people find that staying with close friends or family during this time of loss is comforting and can make recovery more manageable. If you do not have a place to stay, we recommend contacting the American Red Cross to help you find temporary shelter.
Once the smoke has cleared and you are allowed back inside your house, you or the restoration company will need to go through any possessions inside. Depending on how severe the house fire was, there will be some items that can be salvaged, especially if they were in a fire-proof box. We recommend placing any salvageable possessions or important documents in a safe place, even if this means putting them in storage.
When it comes time to collect your possessions from your home, we recommend making a list of all your personal belongings to make an insurance claim, as these often contain receipts and bank statements of purchased items. Fire damage claims can be complex, so providing photos along with this list help with filing your claim.
Locally owned and operated in Gainesville, FL, Maven Construction Group is a licensed general contractor, Angie’s List Certified Contractor, and is accredited and A-rated by the Better Business Bureau. Maven has delivered the best damage restoration and reconstruction services in North Central Florida for more than 15 years.Certified General Contractor Lic # CGC1519003 Certified Mold Remediation Lic # MRSR2344