Fire damage is often devastating. Yet, promptly addressing the devastation is crucial to getting your life back in order and your property back to its former state. While you might be tempted to handle restoration or repairs on your own, it’s safer to let trained restoration professionals handle it. They know what hazards to look out for and can better ensure the safety of the project.
Once the flames are put out, there are several things you can do to help mitigate the damage and keep you and your family safe.
DO: Turn Off the Heating or Cooling System
Your HVAC system uses air ducts to distribute treated air throughout your home. That makes it perfect for distributing heat from the flames, smoke, soot, and toxins as well. Shutting off the heating and cooling system after your home experiences a fire can help prevent all of it from spreading throughout your home.
If there’s an active fire, the heating and cooling system can accidentally make the situation worse by supplying it with more oxygen. It can also distribute toxic gasses and smoke to other rooms, putting all occupants at risk.
DO: Prioritize Safety
Once the flames are extinguished, your home may still not be safe to reenter. There could still be lingering smoke and other toxins in the air, and some areas and objects may still be hot enough to burn you. The flames can also be significantly weaker structural pieces of your home. Weak structural integrity could result in a collapse or injury due to falling objects.
Before a fire occurs, you should make an evacuation plan and decide on a designated meeting place. A house fire often induces panic but ensuring all members of your home know the plan may make all the difference.
DO: Make a Report
It’s not easy looking at your property after a devastating fire. But properly documenting the damage for your insurance claim is crucial to getting your property restored. Take photos of the damage but avoid entering your home if the damage is severe or the fire is ongoing.
Along with photo evidence, be sure to keep any recipes or other forms of paper and online documentation related to the damage. All of this evidence will help during the insurance claim process and help prove the severity of the damage.
DON’T: Use Appliances
After a house fire, avoid using any electronic appliances. This includes TVs, computers, sound systems, and ceiling fixtures. Allow trained professionals to access the condition of these appliances and devices. They’ll check if smoke, fire, and water from firefighter hoses did too much damage.
Professionals can salvage personal items and appliances from your home. Some may only need a simple cleaning to be safely used again. You might need to replace some items depending on their condition.
DON’T: Wash Anything in the House
Fire damage isn’t a pretty sight, but it’s crucial to avoid any kind of cleanup or repairs until your insurance provider has taken a look. That includes washing soot off walls and ceilings or cleaning any surfaces.
Your insurance representative needs to access the damage for your coverage to kick in. Part of your coverage may also cover losses on damaged items that could not be saved.
DON’T: Stay Close to the Carpet
Carpets, curtains, and some furnishings may not have been burned, but that doesn’t mean they’re safe to be around. Smoke can cling to these fabric surfaces and damage them. The toxins in smoke make using these items or being near them dangerous to your health.
Items like carpets, upholstery, and furniture can be saved from smoke damage by professionals. They have the equipment and training needed to properly clean these items without damaging them further.
Professional Fire Damage Restoration Services
As soon as you’re out of harm’s way, you should contact Same Day Restoration for fire damage restoration services. Allow our professionals and your insurance representative to assess the damage before doing anything. It’s essential to get the most out of your insurance claim and entering your property too quickly can put the health and safety of you and your family at risk.
We know how quickly fire damage can upend your life. That’s why we offer 24/7 emergency services in San Diego and Orange County. Our team can have the skills and training to address all aspects of fire damage and can be on-site within 30 minutes. Call us at (866) 928-4177 any time, any day of the week.