Fires can and often do happen quickly and without warning. Your life and plans could suddenly change due to such a disaster. Most homeowners never experience a fire. If a fire does occur, it’s not uncommon to find oneself unprepared. Here are some helpful steps you may want to refer to immediately following a fire.
1. Contact Your Insurance Company.
You will need to report the fire, and contact your insurance company. They will give you valuable information regarding your coverage, as well as where to stay if your home is uninhabitable. Your insurance company will usually dispatch an adjuster to evaluate the damage. Sometimes it will be that day, but often it is the next business day after the claim was reported.
2. Contact A Reputable Restoration Company
You will need to choose a restoration contractor (such as National Flood and Fire Network) you are comfortable with. Your insurance company may recommend contractors in your area, but the final decision is yours alone. Your insurance company will pay the reasonable repair costs for most reputable companies. A restoration company will be able to help with the following details regarding the process.
3. Secure The Premises.
Often in a fire, the firemen need to break doors or windows to enter the house or evacuate the smoke as quickly as possible. The fire may also have burned holes in the walls or roof. These need to be boarded up and/or covered as protection from weather and theft.
4. Restore The Power.
The power is usually shut off to the house as a precaution. The flames may have burned and exposed live wires that could short and start another fire. A qualified electrician is needed to separate the damaged circuits and restore power to the house. The power company will need to inspect the building before they will allow the power to be restored.
5. Turn On The Water.
In major fires, the water has been shut off by the fire department. This is to prevent additional water damage and pipes from any further damage. This will need to be checked and turned back on before the cleaning process can proceed.
6. Restore The Gas.
The gas is also shut off as a safety precaution. A plumber is needed to check the gas connections and work with the gas company to restore the service.