What to Do After a House Fire Checklist
Fire damage can turn your world upside down in an instant, leaving you feeling stranded and overwhelmed. The magnitude of the destruction can be daunting, and the thought of embarking on the recovery process alone can be enough to send anyone into a panic – but time is of the essence, and it’s important to move quickly.
At ServiceMaster of Colorado Springs, we understand the magnitude of fire damage and are committed to helping you move forward after house fires, which is why we have created this checklist to help you know what steps to take immediately following residential fire damage:
1. Ensure Your Safety
First and foremost, you'll want to ensure you and everybody in your family are safe. When a fire breaks out, contact 911, leave the premises, and wait for help to arrive.
As important as it is to immediately notify the fire department in the case of a fire, ensuring your safety requires more than just that. In the initial hours or days following a fire, take care to avoid the following to protect your health and well-being:
- Re-entering the building until local authorities allow you to
- Cleaning up any of the damage yourself
- Removing anything from home without proper protective gear
- Throwing anything away before damage has been assessed
If you notice downed electrical lines, pooling water, or other hazardous conditions, avoid the area altogether and alert the authorities.
2. Contact Your Insurance Company
Once you are safe and away from your home, contact your insurance company as soon as possible. Most of them have 24/7 emergency services designed for situations like this– so don't hesitate to make that call ASAP.
They'll be able to inform you of your coverage, how the claims process works, and other important details to keep in mind. When you speak with your homeowner insurance representative, they'll likely want some key pieces of information such as:
- Your name, policy number, and address
- Whether or not anyone was injured in the fire
- When and how the fire started (if known)
- A general description and cost of damage
Writing these down beforehand can provide additional clarity to your phone call and help speed up the entire process.
3. Find Somewhere to Live
While some small fires may allow you to remain in your home while repairs are being made, many will require you to find somewhere else to stay until the restoration process is complete.
This could mean temporarily living with family or friends, booking a hotel for a few nights, or finding a short-term rental. If you do not have anywhere to go after a fire or need other house fire victim assistance, finding your local Red Cross chapter or contacting the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) may connect you with additional resources.
4. Begin Documenting Your Losses
If you haven't already, it's a good idea to document everything damaged by fire. Take pictures and videos of all areas affected and save receipts for costs associated with relocation and immediate replacements needed.
You'll also want to start listing the items lost in your fire. Record it all, whether it's furniture, artwork, electronics, appliances, or even personal items. With each item, be sure to list the:
- Replacement value
- Location in home
Whether you write in on a legal pad for now or create an online registry that serves as your total loss inventory, this will come in handy when filing your insurance claim.
5. Call a Professional Fire Restoration Company
Fire damage is unique and complex and requires specialized knowledge to restore your home properly. That's why it's important to contact a professional restoration company like ServiceMaster of Colorado Springs for help.
While trying to clean and repair your home fire damage on your own may seem like a cost-effective option, it can often leave you vulnerable to other health and safety risks down the road. Professional fire restoration crews have the skillset and equipment needed to provide comprehensive service from start to finish – so don't hesitate to call us for help.
6. Begin Your Home Restoration
Once you contact us, your trusted Colorado Springs fire restoration company, we can begin restoring your home. Our team will arrive promptly on-site, assess the damage, document what repairs or replacements are necessary, and provide a detailed action plan to start your home’s recovery.
You can expect us to handle every aspect of your disaster recovery, including:
- Damage Mitigation – From isolating damage to one area to boarding up windows and doors, our team takes the proper steps to minimize your financial and physical loss.
- Cleaning and Deodorizing – We will completely clean and deodorize your home using advanced techniques and equipment, removing all smoke, soot, and ash.
- Packout Services – To save the contents of your home, we'll create an inventory and move all salvageable items to be cleaned and restored.
- Water Damage Restoration – Firefighters and sprinkler systems will likely add water damage into the mix. We'll extract standing water, clean and dehumidify all areas, and help prevent mold and mildew growth.
- Reconstruction – Our team will rebuild and repair any areas of your home that require it, ensuring everything is restored to its pre-fire condition.
Call as soon as possible to minimize repair costs, expedite the process, and ensure your home's fire damage restoration is done correctly!
Get Started on Your Fire Damage Restoration in Colorado Springs Today
We know that a house fire can be a challenging experience. But by following these steps and partnering with the experts at ServiceMaster of Colorado Springs for professional fire damage restoration services, we hope some of the stress has been alleviated.
If you’re unsure what to do, don’t worry – we do. Our certified technicians are available 24/7 for fire damage restoration. They assess the damage, develop a plan, and use advanced techniques and state-of-the-art equipment to get your home back to normal as quickly and smoothly as possible.
To learn more about our fire damage restoration services in Colorado Springs or to schedule an appointment, contact us now!