Whether it be a small kitchen fire or an unfortunate large wildfire, you’re often left wondering what to do after a house fire. There are basic steps to take to ensure you and your loved ones are safe from harm and are able to recuperate after such a tragic loss. You’ll want to Call 9-1-1 and try to keep calm. If you’re able to (it’s helpful and at times, lifesaving) assist in providing aid to those who have been affected (family, neighbors, and/or pets). Once all injuries are addressed, it’s a good idea to contact friends and family to let them know you’re safe.
Once the fire has settled and local fire authorities clear the home as safe to re-enter, you’ll want to take the following steps to ensure your safety while collecting important information on the details of the damage.
- Call your local utility companies to inform them of the accident as they may need to shut off power, gas, or water temporarily as a precaution. Electrical, plumbing, and heating systems may be damaged and should be avoided.
- Have a camera or documentation tools (pen & paper) handy to collect photos and information on the severity of the damage. While looking around, be sure to check for structural damage and steer clear of debris. Large damaged items have a tendency to be unstable, try keeping a safe distance during your inspection.
- The only items you may consider wanting to recover right away from the wreckage would be valuable or irreplaceable heirlooms and belongings. Take caution in collecting these items. Oftentimes they can be buried under layers of debris and may take multiple attempts to recover.
- Time to make some calls. Start with calling your Homeowners Insurance Company to begin the claim process. Take note of the procedures they will explain and keep an open contact with your claims adjuster, as you may need to contact them periodically to exchange information. Be sure to inquire about temporary housing as you will most likely need a place to stay.
- Next, call JW Home Care to schedule and arrange for Fire Damage and Smoke Remediation services. Fire, smoke, and soot damage is health hazardous. Leave the cleaning to professionals with proper safety equipment and experience. Once assessed by our Certified Technicians, you’ll have a better understanding of what to expect. In some cases, a Board Up would be needed to secure the home temporarily. JW Home Care also provides Board Up services and is available 24 hours and can arrive on the scene to assist with any and all Board Up needs.
- Remember to reach out for help when you need it. Dealing with fire damage can be stressful. Keeping a calm and positive attitude can make all the difference.
**If you find yourself in an emergency situation where you have just experienced a House Fire, please reference our easy to read checklist to help guide you through the restoration and healing process with the right steps to take in recovering financially and emotionally.