“What to do after fire damage?” That is a question frequently asked, but rarely addressed properly. So you have sustained a fire at your property. Recovering from fire damage can be mentally and physically taxing. This guide serves to help focus your efforts. The fire damage restoration team at Soil-Away wants to make sure you are taking the most effective steps in your recovery process.
Focus on Safety – Personal safety is paramount following a fire damage situation. Do not enter the damaged site until it has been cleared by fire department officials. When accessing the property, be mindful of structural damage such as roofing or flooring. Confirm the status of your utilities. Often times the fire department may disconnect electrical, water or gas lines. Do not turn on the utilities yourself. Utilize a licensed professional to help. Assume that food, beverages and medicine have been contaminated by the smoke and soot. Do not consume these produces if they have been exposed to heat.
Establish Security – Many fires require the property to be boarded up. This is to discourage trespassing. You can contact a local company that specializes in fire damage repairs. Notify the local police if the property is going to be vacant. Make arrangements for personal housing. Create a list of immediate needs such as food, clothing and medication. Local agencies such as the American Red Cross or the Salvation Army may be able to assist.
Communicate – Fire damage can have a large ripple effect in a community. Communicate to all the parties that have a stake in your wellbeing. This includes family, friends, employers and child’s school. Notify your insurance company and they will start the claims process. It is also a good practice to inform your mortgage and utility companies.
Document and Record – Keep a journal or log of everything you experience after the fire. Take notes of interactions with have with individuals: firefighters, city workers, contractors, insurance representatives, etc…You will also want to save all receipts for expenses related to the fire (clothing, food, hotel, etc…). This will help the insurance company process your claim when you seek reimbursement.
Seek Fire Damage Restoration – Coordinate fire damage repairs with a qualified property restoration company. Be cautious of “fire chasers” who will pursue you following a disaster. Many people fall victim to ambulance chasers seeking to sign the business of distressed property owners. Make sure the firm you choose is fully qualified and has a good reputation. The fire damage restoration company will focus on stabilizing the property to minimize further damages. They will clean and deodorize structure and contents. They should regularly communicate with you and your assigned insurance adjuster to ensure a smooth claim and recovery.
The goal of Soil-Away Cleaning & Restoration Services is to help families and business recover from property disaster. For over 25 years, we have specialized in water and fire damage restoration. Soil-Away services south/central New Hampshire (NH) and northern Massachusetts (MA). The company is IICRC master-certified, EPA certified, NADCA certified and a Certified Esporta Operator. Soil-Away is family owned and operated. Contact the fire damage restoration specialists at Soil-Away today!