One of the most devastating events for homeowners is a fire unexpectedly breaking out of their property. It’s distressing, really, seeing the fruits of your labor turn into ash in a blink of an eye.
Understandably, this will be an emotionally challenging time for you and your family. Despite this, it’s best to keep a clear head and learn the first steps you should take to start the process of healing.
Hire a Cleanup Crew
Apart from the expansive damages, fires can also leave a lot of debris in your property. It’s extremely challenging to clean up your home after the materials and possessions are damaged, especially if you don’t have experience with the process. Hire fire cleanup professionals to remove all floor coverings and treat wall framing that can be saved.
These professionals will also remove and restore the HVAC system while evaluating your home’s structural surroundings. Although you may need to throw out valuable items and materials, you can save more of your possessions with a fire cleanup crew equipped with commercial equipment and tools.
Find a Temporary Residence
After informing your family members and friends that you’re safe, it’s important to find a temporary place to live until it’s safe to return to your home. Consider booking a room at a local hotel. Worry not, for your homeowner’s insurance might cover these costs. You can also ask family members or friends for a place to stay. If the fire is caused by a natural disaster, consider going to the American Red Cross for food, water, and medical supplies.
If you own cats or dogs, consider leaving them with a relative or booking a stay at a pet hotel until you return home.
Receive a Medical Evaluation
Undergo a medical evaluation by a professional to look for signs of smoke inhalation. Contact your doctor if you begin to suffer from a high temperature, wheezing, a persistent cough, and breathing difficulties. Your pets may also need to be examined by a vet.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Once you receive medical attention and are safely out of the house, it’s important to contact your homeowner’s insurance to file a claim. Avoid moving any of your personal belongings or the structural materials in the home, as it can put you at risk of an injury.
You’ll also need to avoid moving or driving a vehicle that has suffered from fire damage until the fire department tells you it’s safe to operate the car. To determine the cause of the fire, you may need to meet with a fire chief or a legal representative.
By taking these steps, you and your family can be on your way to taking a fresh start after a devastating fire.
Recovering After a Fire, redcross.org