Open Accessibility Menu
Hide

What to Do After a Fire

Fire Damage
Author: ServiceMaster Restore

The aftermath of a fire is devastating. The most important thing after a fire is the safety of your family and pets. Once everyone is safe and secure, it's time to work a plan for what to do after fire damages your home and property. ServiceMaster Restore has created this checklist of safety precautions and more to begin recovery after fire damage.

What to Do After a Fire

Call your insurance company immediately after a fire. Following ironing the details with your insurance company, contact ServiceMaster Restore so the fire damage cleanup process can begin quickly. Make sure to notify your mortgage company of the fire as well. If you're not sure that the home is structurally safe, have it inspected by a certified structural engineer or building inspector before going near.

  • Take pictures of all exterior damage, noting broken windows or entrances that are no longer secure.
  • Make arrangements to board-up broken windows and secure the property during the cleanup and restoration process.
  • Shut off propane tank systems and make an appointment for it to be inspected for safety.
  • Do not attempt to reconnect utilities on your own.
  • Be aware that rodents, snakes, or other animals may have entered your home.

Inside the home:

  • Don't flip on electrical switches in any room with standing water from firefighting efforts.
  • Don't enter any room if you hear popping or see sparking.
  • Turn off the power at the main electrical panel.
  • Try not to touch anything covered with soot; it's easy to transfer it to other areas of the home, making the cleaning process more difficult.
  • Wear closed-toe shoes or boots, long sleeves, long pants and gloves to protect against soot and any other contaminants as you go through the home.
  • Try to locate important papers and other documents that you'll need.
  • Handle burned money as little as possible. You can take its remains to a Regional Federal Reserve Bank for replacement.
  • Begin taking inventory of the building damage and all damaged items.
  • Begin saving receipts for any expenses incurred after the fire. These may be needed when filing insurance claims.

Fire Damage Cleanup and Remediation

Companies like ServiceMaster Restore have the expertise as well as the right products and equipment to safely and effectively clean and restore a home after a fire. Fire damage includes more than just items burned. There will be soot, smoke and water damage as well. A professional cleaning team will assess the damage to flooring, drywall, cabinets, furniture and more before developing a plan for thorough cleanup. Additionally, mold growth may be a concern after rooms and items have been saturated with water during the firefighting efforts. Items that may need to be cleaned for soot and smoke removal include but are not limited to:

  • Carpets and area rugs
  • Flooring: hardwood, tile and vinyl
  • Woodwork and other hard surfaces like countertops and cabinetry
  • Electronics and appliances
  • Furniture and upholstery
  • Draperies, linens and clothing
  • Books, artwork, papers and documents

After a fire, let ServiceMaster Restore tackle the tough jobs so you have peace of mind that your home will be cleaned and restored quickly, safely and correctly.

Related Articles

  • How To Put Out a Fire
    How To Put Out a Fire While there are several ways a fire can start, there’s one thing you need to do if a fire occurs – act quickly. A fire can go from a spark to engulfing flames in no time, so every second counts . Educating yourself now on different types of fires and how to put them out ... Continue Reading
  • Commercial Fire Sprinkler Systems Myths
    Commercial Fire Sprinkler Systems Myths If a fire breaks out in your business, acting fast to put out the flames could save you from costly damage and loss. That's why commercial fire sprinkler systems are so important. Although sprinkler systems can protect you, your staff, your customers and your business from ... Continue Reading
  • Youth Preparedness: How to Prepare Youth for Emergencies and Disasters
    Youth Preparedness: How to Prepare Youth for Emergencies and Disasters When the unexpected happens, will your child know what to do? Disaster can strike anywhere, usually with little to no warning. If your child is put in an emergency situation and doesn't know how to react, they could be severely hurt and may even feel significant anxiety that ... Continue Reading
  • 3 Crucial Home Fire Safety Tips
    3 Crucial Home Fire Safety Tips A home fire occurs every 86 seconds in the United States, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) . These fires result in thousands of deaths and injuries each year, along with billions of dollars in property damage. While the numbers are alarming, some ... Continue Reading
Page 1 of 11