FIRE DAMAGE RESTORATION
If your home has suffered fire damage it can prove to be an incredibly trying experience. Fire damage is one of the most costly, unfortunate, and often unexpected forms of damage that a homeowner can experience. Ensuring the safety of yourself and your family when a fire does occur is of course the first priority, but what to do after the fire has happened can prove to be daunting. Dealing with the after-effects of a fire is never easy, and you need to take the right steps to make certain that recovery goes as smoothly as possible.
What To Do After a House Fire
Once a fire has occurred, the very first step you need to take is to make certain that you contact your insurance provider. No one is going to call your insurance provider for you, and you cannot afford to sit around and wait, you need to act immediately after a fire has occurred to get the benefit that your insurance should provide. Be patient, these processes can take time, and your insurance agency will no doubt try and help as swiftly as they can, but the process will involve many steps. This is the reason that you want to get moving on any insurance claims as soon as the fire has occurred, since acting sooner often means a swifter resolution. You will also want to get a copy of the fire report from the local fire department. This is information that you should have on hand after the process has begun, and is invaluable both to yourself and your insurance agency.
After you have contacted your insurance agency, do not re-enter your home if it has suffered severe fire damage. Your fire department will be able to tell you if your home is safe to re-enter and if its structure has not been completely compromised. Though it is no doubt tempting to go through and see what can be salvaged after a fire, you do not want to risk your life entering a structurally unsound building. If you receive the okay to do so then you may, but you still need to be very careful.
When you are able to enter your home, conduct a thorough inventory of your home’s contents. Identify any items that have been damaged by the fire and catalog them. Be as complete in this assessment as possible to make certain that the information concerning the damage done to your home and property is as comprehensive as possible. When you issue the claim, you need to address all of your losses.
If you are not going to be able to live out of your home after the damages, you may have to find elsewhere to stay. Contact friends or family members that might be able to assist you during your time of need, and failing that, look int contacting organizations such as the American Red Cross. There are public programs that can help provide temporary aid to individuals that have lost their homes in an unfortunate event. You will also want to secure your property if you are not going to be there, to prevent potential theft and further damage.
In the case that your home was not destroyed and is determined to be structurally sound, you will have to set about recovering from the damage. In some cases this can be handled by yourself but you should also consider getting the assistance of professional cleaners. Fire damage to carpets, walls, ceilings, can be especially difficult to clean up without the proper equipment. If you have only suffered minor damage you might be able to handle it yourself, but if it is damage between multiple rooms, or damage that will require extensive repairs, you must get the assistance of professionals. Talk to your insurance agency before you commit to any recovery actions, as they will help you decide on what course is best.
Clean-up will also require more than addressing concerns of fire damage. Extinguishers and hoses can leave residue on the interior of your home as well, or leave floors and walls soaked with water. Water damage is another serious threat to homes that can result in further compromising the structure or in harmful mold growth. You will want to make certain that you have your home’s interior dried as soon as possible. There are plenty of contractors available that can help to this end, many of which also do fire damage cleanup and recovery.
If you feel your insurance adjuster is not doing their most to help you, or downplaying the severity of the damage, you may want to look into getting this handled by an independent party. There are public insurance adjusters available who will have your interests in mind over those of your insurance company. Getting the assistance of a public adjuster is a good step if you are feeling that the treatment of your situation has been unfair.
The Road to Recovery
Recovering from fire damage can be exhausting, and if you are fortunate enough to not have lost your home, then you should not despair if the proper steps are taken. Even if your home is lost, as long as you follow the correct steps your insurance provider should be able to help. Though the recovery may take time, you should be able to do it. Recovering from fire damage is not an easy process and involves many steps, but as long as you are thorough and keep comprehensive records, you should come out okay.
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