Fire Damage: What To Do After The Fire Happens
Fire damage is never anything that you want to deal with, but unfortunately just putting out a fire doesn’t end the issue.Fire can cause damage to your home and possessions in a wide variety of ways beyond simple heat, so it’s important to understand exactly what you’re facing immediately after fire damage has occurred in your home or apartment.
The First Step After The Fire
The first step is to take pictures everywhere. You want to clearly see the damage and have a record of it. If you live in an apartment this will be useful for making any claims under renter’s insurance. The same goes with home owner’s insurance if the damage was in a home or property that you owned.
This isn’t only important for any insurance companies involved, but if you need to find a repair specialist you have photographs to show them the full extent of the damage. This is critical to get an accurate bid up front.
Also understand that there will probably be water damage as well, since it may take a large amount to put out the fire. The combination of smoke, fire, and water damage can be a nasty combination and may require more than one specialist to fully clean and stabilize the area. This is also assuming that the area isn’t so badly damaged that it’s just deemed not safe to go back into.
The Second Step After The Fire
The next step is to contact everyone involved. You may need to find temporary housing elsewhere depending on the extent of fire damage, and if there’s any follow up investigation as to the cause. The Red Cross offers services to people who recently suffered losses and your insurance plan may have coverage for temporary housing assistance.
In addition, you need to know that after a fire has been put out and the damage assessed, you should be able to request a fire damages report from the local fire department that dealt with the fire. This document is important for insurance and records purposes, and you want to make sure to have your own copy for your records.
If your property is deemed safe to return to, you are actually the one responsible for securing it against looting. Many insurance holders don’t know this, but it’s a critical part of most policies. You will be the one responsible for making sure the premises are secure and that reasonable actions are taken to make sure that no one can walk in and just start looting whatever they feel like.
After this point it’s time to let insurance help recommend specialists for the clean up. While it can be tempting to do it yourself, unless you have a lot of experience in the area, it’s not advisable. There’s fire damage, soot damage, and water damage – and all three of these can cause unseen damage that goes well beneath just the surface and areas that are easy to reach.
Finally, once everything has been cleaned you should still take pictures and get a mold and mildew check. This is especially true if a large amount of water was used, to make sure there’s no lasting damage or side effects from the original fire. Some of the cities our team services in the Arizona area:
Action 1 Restoration Arizona
5025 N Central Ave
Phoenix, Az 85012