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.