The Red Cross reports that 80% of Americans do not realize that small house fires represent America’s most common type of disaster. The aftermath of a house fire can cause extensive damage to the whole house, both inside and outside.
How can houses catch fire? People may not realize the risks involved in setting fire to their homes. Many things could start a fire: an electric fire in the kitchen, an electric dryer, or a chimney or fireplace.
Even in rooms that flames have never engulfed, high heat can cause the plastic to melt, paint to blister, glass windows to crack, and much more. Personal belongings, appliances, and equipment that remain standing can be irreparably damaged.
It can be overwhelming to figure out what to do after a house fire. Is there anything you should do to get insurance? Is it safe after the fire is out? What chance do you have of ever getting your belongings back?
It is normal to feel confused or unsure about where to go or what to do. The steps ‘After a Fire Checklist’ will walk you through what to do in the aftermath of a fire. It will also help you get on the road towards recovery.
1. Talk to your Family
Although it may seem obvious, at the moment, it is easy to become overwhelmed and confused, forgetting even basic tasks. Check in with others if you were not alone at the time of the fire and made sure they are all okay. Depending on how large the fire was and how old the people involved were, it can be pretty traumatizing.
Next, take a moment to contact family members who may not be with you. Tell them what happened, and let them know the status of all your family members and friends. Call a friend if none of your family members live nearby.
You should also contact the property owners if you rent your house. They can make decisions regarding the property and start the recovery process.
2. House Fire Insurance
Common questions include: What to do after a fire in your home? It would help if you didn’t assume someone else would contact your homeowner’s insurance company. After you have spoken to your Family, this is the first thing you should do. This will begin the event documentation process and the insurance claim process.
Your agent should have experience in handling property emergencies. They can also talk with you about living expenses and emergency lodging. They can also connect you with companies that can repair smoke damage and fire damage.
Jenkins Restorations is a top-rated restoration company that will work with your insurance company to clean up the fire damage. Make sure you are clear about who will pay for which parts of the restoration process. You should have a written copy of each agreement.
3. Find out if your home is salvageable
Ever wonder how hot a housefire can get? Ready.gov states that the average house fire temperature is between 100 and 600 degrees at floor level. If you inhale the heat, it can scorch your lungs.
This type of heat can cause structural damage to your house, which could lead to lingering problems. Most likely, your insurance company will send an adjuster out to assess the fire damage to your house. The adjuster will determine if the fire damage can be saved or if the home must be rebuilt.
Professional fire damage cleanup is required if the fire has destroyed your home. Direct fire damage must be repaired or replaced. Heat, smoke, and soot may also cause damage to your house and possessions.
4. How to determine if your home is safe
You should not enter any house or building that has been burned by fire. Only after the fire department has inspected your home can you enter. Even if the fires appear extinguished, they can start again and almost always cause hidden damage. For example, you might find that your roof or floors are damaged and may fall while you’re still inside.
Once you have been permitted to re-enter your house safely, you should make sure you concentrate on retrieving necessary paperwork and valuables such as passports, medical records, birth certificates, and medical records. You should not bring any food or cosmetics with you. The high heat and smoke contained in these items could cause you injury.
5. Organise Your Possessions
It will be easier to separate your damaged possessions and your unaffected ones to create a list for your insurance company. It is beneficial to have a list of all your personal belongings. These lists can often include receipts and bank statements for purchased items. In addition, photos can be helpful when you file a claim.