In the United States, cooking, heating, cigarette smoking, candles, and electrical issues are the top causes of a house fire. Statistics state that around 358,500 home fires take place every year. It means that even the best preventative measures can not eliminate the risk of fires at home.
In case of the unthinkable, what should you do after a fire disaster on your property?
1. Move Out and Look For a Safe Place to Stay
Even if you believe the damage is minor, you can not risk your loved ones’ security and health staying at home. If staying with loved ones or friends is not an option, you may speak to your area disaster relief agency. They can find you a safe place to stay temporarily. If you have the means, you may stay in a hotel for some time.
Ensure to call the owner of the property immediately if you are renting. This will help them make decisions about the house and start with the recovery process.
2. Call Your Insurance
Always call your insurance right after a home disaster happens, and never assume that someone will do it for you. This will start the event documentation and insurance claim process. Your insurance policy may cover your living and other everyday costs, like your hotel bills. Whether or not you get this in advance, save all receipts and keep a detailed record of all your purchases.
They must assist you in securing your home and suggesting restoration companies for cleanup and restoring items that can be saved. If you can, get fire reports from your local area fire department because these can help provide more information to your insurance company. In addition to these, it’s ideal if you have a list of your trusted local restoration professionals.
Ask for recommendations from everyone you know who has used restoration services before. You may also go online and search for “Woodinville restoration services,” for example, if you live in the area.
3. Figure Out if Your Home is Safe to Enter
Never go into a house or building that a fire has damaged until the fire department tells you it’s safe to do so. Keep in mind that fires can start again even if they appear to be out. In addition, damaged roofs and floors can fall and hit you.
There are also health hazards triggered by breathing in soot and smoke, especially for a longer period. If they gave you a signal to enter your home, recover valuables and necessary papers, including birth certificates, passports, medical records, etc. Most importantly, never smoke while in your damaged residence or bring any flammable products.
4. Organize and Recover Your Possessions
Separate damaged from undamaged things to make it much easier for your insurance agency. Most of the time, your homeowner’s plan will undoubtedly change all the costs of all your damaged possessions. Consider keeping a house inventory of your belongings to make sure everything is accounted for.
Your inventory should include the date of purchase, expenses, and descriptions of each product if possible. Together with these are the receipts or bank statements, and giving images can also help. Some restoration companies offer pack-out services to help you retrieve your belongings and ensure their quality. Click here to know more about pack-out services to guide and help you overcome the damaging effects of the disaster.
5. Take Care of Your Pets
Take your pets to your trusted veterinarian immediately. In many cases, the effects of home fires can take several hours to become lethal. Your veterinarian will evaluate your pet’s lungs, heart lungs, eyes, and skin. You might not be aware, but burns can be concealed under their fur.
Expect that they may need lab work, such as an x-ray of the lungs. Depending on the situation, they can also be in oxygen care, IV fluids, or some surgeries if there are extensive burns.
6. Look After Your Family’s Mental Health
Disasters can result in emotional distress, along with physical injuries. Imagine losing your house, your valuables, and treasured items. It’s normal to experience anger, shock, depression, and hopelessness, but over time, you can reach a phase of acceptance and be able to carry on.
Get assistance from your family, friends, colleagues, as well as people around you, and avoid isolating yourself too much. Allow yourself to cry, feel bad, and release negative feelings in a healthy way. But give permission to yourself to feel great despite what happened. If you have kids, be a positive role model in recovering healthily.