Home fires occur without warning. As such, no homeowner will ever be truly prepared for a home fire. It is a disaster that can start at any time, in any room, and can be sparked by the slightest conditions within the house. The best that you can do as a homeowner is to take all the necessary precautions to limit the instances of home fires.
You should also have an early fire detection system installed in your home so that you can be alerted immediately if any smoke is detected. However, in the unfortunate event that you suffer a home fire, it pays to know the follow-up steps you need to take immediately after the fire is put out.
The restoration process after a fire disaster may be long and tedious, but having a good idea of what to do and when to do it will make it less straining, and you will be able to cope with the disaster aftermath in a better way. In case you are the unlucky victim of a fire disaster, here is a brief look at some of the things that you should do-:
Get in touch with your insurance company as soon as possible
Getting in touch with your home insurance company is the very first thing you should do after a fire disaster in your home. Do this even before you plan on how to deal with the damage. This is so that the company can send their adjusters or agents to come and assess the risk which will then be used to calculate a commensurate compensation for your loss.
While you wait for the insurance company to send their representatives, you can document the loss in the form of a video or photos. This evidence can be included when filing the insurance claims. After the agent shows up on your premises, remember to inform them of any immediate fire damage remediation plans you intend to make.
Keep a clear record of all the damaged items
In addition to taking photos and videos of the damage, it is also imperative that you make a comprehensive list of all the damaged items. Photos and videos will show the details of the damages, but sometimes you can’t tell from the photo or the video the exact item that has been damaged.
The reason for doing this is that the homeowner’s insurance policy may cover the replacement costs of all the destroyed items during the fire disaster.
The company will most likely ask you for an inventory of the personal items that might have been destroyed by the fire, and that is why you need to have a comprehensive list of all the items that may have been damaged in the fire.
If during the fire incident, you lost important documents such as your passport, driver’s license, deeds, and birth certificates among others, it is vital that you start the process of replacing them immediately. This is because you may need some of these documents to make your claims at the insurance company.
Start the mitigation process
Home fires have the potential of not just destroying a lot of property, but also endangering lives. These risks still remain real even after the fire is put out. This is why you need to come up with an effective mitigation plan that manages to prevent any further loss of property and ensures that every family member is safe.
After a fire disaster, there are always chances that the weakened structures may cave in, pipes might burst, and occupants of the house may inhale toxic chemicals present in the resulting ash after the fire. For better, safer, and quicker results, it is highly recommended that you hire a professional fire damage restoration company to assist with the mitigation measures. This should be the case even if you think the fire was insignificant and that you can handle the aftermath yourself.
Remove undamaged items and clean the property
After a fire disaster, you may end up with a home that looks dark and stained. This is why the first phase of the mitigation process will be dealing with the soot, smoke, and dust that may have stuck on the surfaces. This is also the time for you to sort out the damages and to see if there are any salvageable items in the rubble.
After dealing with the soot, smoke, and dust, what follows should be water damage restoration if water was used to extinguish the fire. During this phase of the cleanup process, you will have to get rid of all the standing pools of water. Depending on the volume of water you need to deal with, you could use mops and buckets, or submersible pumps if you can access such equipment.
Then you will also have to deal with the smoke odor after a fire disaster at home. Smoke odors may linger for a time, and they may get entrenched on walls, carpets, upholstery, and other non-porous materials. To eliminate the smoke odor, you will have to properly clean the affected items and possibly deodorize them to neutralize the odors.
This is one of the most daunting and expensive phases after a fire disaster at home. Restoring your home after a fire may be very costly and this will primarily depend on the nature of damage your house experienced during the incident. Unless you have the necessary skills to handle such a task, you will be better off calling for expert help from after-fire damage restoration companies.
If possible, you should engage them right from the beginning so that they can help with the actual cleaning and the eventual restoration work. It will be safer, quicker, and more efficient to deal with them compared to trying to do everything by yourself.
Feel free to contact KBS Maintenance today for quality, affordable and reliable after-fire restoration services.