Top 6 Things to Do First After a Fire at Home
In the US, cooking, heating, smoking, candles, and electrical issues are the leading causes of a home fire. Statistics say that around 358,500 home fires happen each year. This shows that even the best precautions can not eliminate the danger of fires at home.
In case of the unthinkable, what should you do after a fire disaster in your home?
1. Move Out and Find a Safe Place to Stay
Even if you believe the damage is minor, you can’t risk your family’s safety and health staying at home. If staying with relatives or friends is not possible, you can speak with your area disaster relief department. They can find you a safe place to stay temporarily. If you have the means, you may also consider staying in a hotel for a while.
Ensure to contact the owner of the house right away if you are renting. This will help them make decisions regarding the house and start with the recovery process.
2. Contact Your Insurance
Always call your insurance right after a house disaster happens, and never assume that someone will do it for you. This will start the event documents and insurance claim process. Your insurance policy may cover your living and other everyday expenses, such as your hotel expenses. Whether or not you get this in advance, save all receipts and keep a detailed document of all your purchases.
They must assist you in securing your home and recommending reliable property restoration companies for clean-up and recovering items that can be saved. If you can, get fire records from your local fire department because these can help give more information to your insurance company.
3. Identify if Your House is Safe to Enter
Never go into a house or building that a fire has harmed until the fire department tells you it’s safe to do so. Be aware that fires can start again even if they seem out. Additionally, damaged roofs and floors can fall and hit you.
There are also wellness risks caused by breathing in soot and smoke, especially for a prolonged period. If you were given a signal to enter your home, retrieve belongings and essential documents, including birth certificates, passports, medical records, and so on. Most importantly, never smoke while near your damaged home or bring any flammable items.
4. Organize and Recover Your Belongings
Separate damaged from undamaged items to make it easier for your insurance agency. In most cases, your homeowner’s policy will replace all the expenses of your damaged possessions. These days, many restoration companies are now offering pack our services to help you recover your valuable items and ensure their quality. You may visit this page for more information.
Consider keeping a home inventory of your belongings to ensure everything is accounted for. Your inventory should include the day of purchase, expenses, and descriptions of each item if possible. Together with these are the receipts or bank statements, and providing pictures can also be a good help.
5. Take Care of Your Pets
Take your pets to your trusted vet immediately. In many cases, the impacts of home fires can take several hours to become lethal. Your veterinarian will evaluate your pet’s lungs, heart, eyes, and skin. You might not be aware, but burns can be hidden under their fur.
Expect that they may need laboratory work, such as an x-ray of the lungs. Depending on the situation, they can also be in oxygen care, IV fluids, or some surgeries in extensive burns.
6. Take Care of Your Family’s Mental Health
Disasters can result in emotional distress, along with physical injuries. Imagine losing your house, your valuables, and treasured items. It’s normal to experience anger, shock, depression, and hopelessness, but in time, you can reach a stage of acceptance and be able to go on.
Get support from your family members, friends, colleagues, as well as people close to you, and prevent isolating yourself too much. Allow yourself to weep, feel bad, and healthily release negative emotions. Nonetheless, give yourself permission to feel good regardless of what happened. If you have kids, be a positive role model in recovering healthily.