What a Fire Means For You
A fire is a devastating event for anyone, from families to businesses. For a family, coping with the loss of a invaluable personal items and financial setback is an overwhelming psychological and emotional toll. For a business, a fire means that they are have to close their doors until the damages are repaired, while a family has to figure out where they’ll lay their heads the next night.
Common Cases ServiceMaster Has Helped Restore
At ServiceMaster we see many different types of fires which often require different cleaning techniques. Here are just a few:
- Cooking Fires
- Electrical Fires
- Furnace Malfunction
- Wood Fires
- Fireplace/ Chimney Fire
- Appliance Malfunctions
- Cookout/ BBQ Fires
- Lightning Strikes
- Cigarette, Cigar or Pipes Smoking
There are many more. Depending on the type of fire and what was incinerated, we clean with different methods. For instance, a kitchen fire caused by a chicken left in an oven required different cleaning than a house fire where the room temperature reached 1000 degrees and plastics and electronics such as TV’s and computers melt or sublimate and become airborne.
ServiceMaster Fire & Water Restoration has a trained staff, with over 100 years of combined experience, who have been on countless fire losses and who each bring knowledge and professionalism to every unique situation. As a Quality Restoration Vendor (QRV) we meet the highest industry standards and are preferred partners for almost every major insurance company. The technicians at ServiceMaster Fire & Water Restoration are experts in soot removal, smoke odor removal, fire damage remediation and the removal of airborne particulates caused by fire.
Our Restoration Equipment
ServiceMaster Fire & Water Restoration has specialized equipment including High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters, wall cleaners, media blasters and carpet remediation tools that can remove soot and oily residue. We are available for emergency board-ups and also are licensed to remove and store contents in a secure and climate controlled environment. For any fire cleanup, ServiceMaster Fire & Water can be there to get your life back to normal.
How Insurance and Fire Loss Fit Together
We work with virtually every insurance company. It is critical to file an insurance claim as quickly as possible. The insurance company will need some specific information and oftentimes, restoration can’t start without it.
Subrogation: In order to find out exactly how the fire started, the insurance company may send a fire inspector. There job is to determine how the fire started and if there is potential liability for a third party. For example, if there was a faulty electrical outlet, an improperly manufactured space heater, an appliance not working correctly or anything else caused the fire that might not be directly related to the customer.
Contents: The contents in your home are often covered under an insurance rider or even a separate policy. The insurance company want to make sure your coverage matches your claim for damaged contents. Some will need to be replaced entirely and some can be restored.
Structure: If a significant portion of the structure has been damaged by the fire, an engineer may be necessary to determine whether or not it is safe. If it can’t be restored, it may need to be torn down completely.
While we like to start immediately, there are occasions where restoration has to wait. Your insurance adjuster will most likely be the one to organize that process.
What should I have prepared for ServiceMaster’s arrival to my fire loss?
Before ServiceMaster arrives, it is very helpful if you have your insurance information ready and available. That information includes your agent, the insurance carrier, your claim number, your policy number and the contact information of your adjuster. We can begin to get the insurance adjuster and carrier in the loop as soon as possible.
We also suggest you securing any valuable items such as paperwork, artwork, jewelry and items of sentimental value such as photos. Please also manage pets. It can be very stressful for a cat or dog who can either be aggressive, hide or run away.
Can ServiceMaster begin restoring my fire damage as soon as possible, or does the restoration process begin on the second visit? How soon can I expect to have my business or home safe and ready for business/inhabitants?
The time is takes for a total restoration depends on many factors. At ServiceMaster we have crews available 24/7/365. On a fire loss however we may need to wait for the fire inspector, engineer and the insurance adjuster. Also some types of fires take longer to clean than others. A straight soot clean from a clean burning wood fire is different than a protien fire or a furnace malfunction. An empty home won’t take as long as a retail establishment with contents stacked floor to ceiling. Vents cleaning may need to be scheduled and we will finish with a thorough carpet cleaning and upholstery cleaning.
Our project managers however will most likely be able to create a timeline for you. Our goal is to get your home, business and your life back to normal as quickly as possible.
Next Steps Following a Fire
Because of the dangerous and often-time volatile chemicals that are present after a fire, as well as the compromised electrical system and presence of water, it is critical to have a trained professional on-hand as soon as possible. Do not attempt to remediate a fire loss on your own. Insurance companies will require evidence of the origin of the fire to be kept intact and you will be risking the exposure to dangerous substances, harmful debris and the possibility that compromised structures will collapse.
How to Reach ServiceMaster
You can always reach a live person at ServiceMaster Fire & Water Restoration and we have crews on call 24 hours a day. We work with virtually every insurance company and can help with your claim.
It is common after a fire loss to clean carpets and floors.