Experiencing a house fire can be one of the most traumatic and costly encounters of your life. After a fire is put out, the remnants of the burned area still receive damage from synthetic materials and chemical reactions brought on by the intense heat. More obviously, there’s soot scattered about that can stain nearby valuable items. To protect your items from additional damage in the event of a fire in your Clearwater, Florida, home, there are a few steps you need to take in the immediate aftermath.
Inform Necessary Contacts
The first thing you need to do after a house fire is contact all of the important people who could help your situation. That means everyone from family members to your insurance agency. You’ll want your family members and/or trusted friends to know so they can help, and you’ll need to start the insurance claim process as soon as possible. Additionally, you’ll need to contact your utility services such as electricity and water to initiate an emergency shut-off.
Document the Damage
Whether you’re dealing with your insurance provider or a fire report, you must document the damages. That means taking notes as well as photographs that describe and show the extent of the damage. Keep in mind that it’s important to do this from outside the house. Do not reenter any home that has suffered fire damage until a fire department official clears you to do so. Only then should you proceed to document the damage from the interior. Even so, it’s always best to work to stay safe after home damage.
Recover and Replace
Once you’re allowed inside the structure by a fire department official, it’s time to recover what you can. Not every item will be worth saving, but valuable items and family heirlooms that survived the damage are essential. When it comes to important damaged items, it’s a good idea to work on replacing them as fast as possible to help speed up the recovery process. These include documents such as birth certificates and passports.
Contact the Police and Other Local Institutions
After a house fire, the property will remain vacant for quite some time. While you’re staying somewhere else, you’ll have to move your entire life with you, which means notifying your children’s school and the post office. It’s also helpful to notify the police of the situation so they know that the house will be vacant while it’s in the process of recovery. Not only will that ensure that you receive all the necessary information from local institutions, but local police will be more vigilant protecting the remnants of your house during its vacancy.
Plan Your Finances
Recovering from a serious event such as a house fire can be a slow and costly process. To make sure all your finances are in order, it’s necessary to make a plan as early as possible. Take note of any damaged household items that you’ll need to replace, including ovens and other appliances.
Keep the receipts to ensure you get reimbursed as quickly as possible. Additionally, it might be best to cancel your internet and television services since you won’t be in the home for a while. If the fire caused damage to your car, you need to find out whether or not your insurance covers it.
Contact Restoration Services
Being victimized by a fire puts a lot on your shoulders. The sheer damage possible is staggering, so you need to make sure you know exactly what to do should this situation actually come to pass. To mitigate the effects of the damage, you should contact a restoration services company as soon as possible. Fortunately, that’s where we can help. Our technicians offer service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This allows you to get the fastest response and most skilled assistance possible to ensure proper damage mitigation.
Remember, fire restoration time is critical, so don’t hesitate to call the ServiceMaster 24 Hour professionals at 727-201-0499. Contact us to learn more about our additional services and what we can do for you, including everything from pre-cleaning to restoration and odor elimination.
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