Start taking the first steps towards putting your home back together after a fire.
A fire is not just an inconvenience — a fire disrupts and changes your life. It displaces you and leaves you, many times, with nothing but the clothes on your back. At a time when you were perhaps planning a birthday party or gearing up for the holidays, now you have this event that shakes you — a million thoughts are swirling around in your head and you have to take steps to address the issue at hand but you also have to deal emotionally with the loss of it all.
A home fire is overwhelming but at Restoration 1 Of Las Vegas we can help bring some normalcy back to your everyday life through our fire restoration services. If you’ve recently experienced a fire, follow along in today’s post as we provide you with action steps to take when you don’t know what else to do.
After The Fire: What To Expect
A home fire causes serious damage and many of your belongings and interior structural things (walls, doors, etc) may have been badly damaged from the heat, smoke, and flames or the fire.
Beyond the damage from the fire, you may need to prepare yourself for water damage, broken windows, and holes cut in the roof as a result of the firefighters putting out the fire.
Once the fire is out, work from a restoration company is imperative. It’s also important to note that there may be a potential risk to your health and safety from the soot and contaminated water that is left behind, so also check in with the professionals first before you start gathering and recovering your personal belongings.
Once you’re allowed access, let’s review some steps to take when you’re left in the wake of a fire.
7 Action Steps To Take After A Home Fire
The fire has happened and it has been put out, so what do you do now? You may be left in disbelief and unable to even think what comes next. But, we have you covered. Follow these steps when you feel stuck, overwhelmed, and unable to figure out your next move.
Contact Your Insurance Company
The first thing you’ll want to do is talk to your insurance agency and let them know there has been a fire. The great thing about them is, they can help walk you through this process as well — just ask them what to do next. They’ll often know amazing local restoration companies to work with.
Whenever you work with insurance, ensure you get everything in writing.
Looking for a little more support? Reach out to your community and consider contacting organizations such as:
- Non-profit counseling facilities
- State or city government offices
- Local religious organizations
- Public agencies
Figure Out Your Finances
Your finances are probably the last thing on your mind at this point, but it’s crucial that you address them. What was damaged in the fire? Was your wallet in there and do you have access to your debit or credit cards?
If they were in the fire, report to the companies they were lost in the fire and see if you can go into your local bank to get a quick replacement.
It’s also important to save all the receipts of the money you spend during this time — the insurance company will likely ask for documentation, in addition to losses claimed on your tax return.
Get The Basics Covered
You’ve been displaced and now it’s time to take care of you and your family which means you need to figure out a few of the key details such as:
- A place to stay
- A week’s worth of clothing
- Prescription medications
This is a heavy and daunting time and you have a lot of hard things ahead of you, so ask for help and lean on those who want to help — don’t face this alone!
Pets are just as much a part of the family so it’s important they get the care they need in this situation as well. It’s important to know that when animals are scared and upset, they’re more prone to biting and scratching so do your best to comfort them, but handle them carefully. You may need to board your pets or leave them with family and friends during this process, and it’s crucial to keep them out of the home and safe as the fire restoration services take place.
Replacing Important Documents
If the fire destroyed important documents it’s important to replace them, this may include documents such as:
- Driver’s license
- Car insurance
- Titles and deeds
- Military papers
- Birth, death, and marriage certificates
- Divorce papers
- Social security cards
- Medicaid cards
- Stocks and bonds
- Medical records
- Tax documentation
- Citizenship papers
Safety And Security
You will not have access to your home until after the fire department confirms that it is safe. The fire department will do an initial check to make sure that using the utilities such as water, electricity, and gas are safe to operate. If it’s not safe, they will have your utilities disconnected, so please, do not try and have them turned back on so you can go back to your house!
As much as you want to be there and assess all the damage and mourn your loss, you need to stay safe. If you’re out for more than a couple of days, it may be worth it to call your local police and let them know about what happened — they can keep an extra eye on it. And, you may first want to get a restoration company to board up any windows and doors to prevent anyone from accessing your home illegally.
You’ll likely have to submit a fire claim for your insurance which will require a comprehensive list of all the damage incurred from the fire. This is the process that can get very hard — you have to sort through all of your inventory, separating them into what was damaged and what’s not. Having a detailed list of everything will be emotional and hard, but it will help speed the difficult process of the insurance claim much faster.
What do you include in this list?
- Brand of item
- Receipts (if possible)
- Purchase price
- UPC (barcode)
- Proof of purchase from bank statements
We understand that many of the above inclusions may be difficult to track down, so include as much information as you can.
The Fire Report
One of the first things your insurance company will ask you about is the fire report, so ensure you have a copy of it. This report has all the details of the event — the date, time, areas affected, description of damage, and possible cause (if known).
The fire report is a public document so you should have access to it. If arson was suspected, you’ll have to work with the local authorities to get a copy.
Fire Restoration In Las Vegas
When it comes to fire damage, there are action steps you can take when you don’t know what else to do. It’s always important to stay connected in this time — talk with your insurance company, the fire department, your bank, and the local government to get all of your important documentation addressed and replaced.
It’s also a time to pause and take care of you and your family — ensure you have a place to stay and that all your basics are covered.
And, as you place one foot in front of the other, things begin to slowly happen and in no time you’ll have a fire restoration company in your home helping you get back in and back to your normal life.
If you’re ready to combat the fire damage left by the flames and smoke, partner with us today!