According to the National Fire Protection Association, more than 1.3 million reported fires resulted in about $14.3 billion of property damage in 2015. Half a million were classified as structural, with one every 63 seconds. With an average loss per structure at $20,7000 in 2015, every minute counts as homeowners scramble to salvage their property and cut financial losses. Here’s what steps you should take if you’ve suffered a fire in your Hillsborough County home.
What to Do Immediately After a Fire: Establishing Safety and Security
Once you’ve vacated the property and the fire department has extinguished the fire, remember to avoid eating, drinking or breathing in anything that has been near the flames, smoke or soot. If you own pets, locate and comfort them.
Unless the fire departments has stated otherwise, don’t enter the property. Fires can reignite, even if they appear extinguished. Damaged roofs and floors can collapse. The fire department will ensure your utilities are safe to use. If they aren’t, the firefighters will disconnect them before they leave.
- Contact the landlord, a local disaster relief service and your insurance company
- Report any credit cards you’ve lost in the fire and order replacements
- Collect all receipts and save them for the insurance company to prove losses
What to Do in the Days Following a Fire: Handling the Damage
Fortunately, there are companies in Tampa Bay that provide fire damage and restoration services to help you recover as many of your personal items as possible. Remember that your insurance company might cover this cost. Ask for an estimate and agree to it in writing. When hiring a fire restoration company, it should:
- Secure your property against further damage.
- Estimate and repair damage.
- Store household and repaired items until needed.
- Provide the repair and/or cleaning personnel.
For more information about what to do after a fire, or if you’re in need of 24/7 emergency services, read on to learn about how to deal with smoke odors after a house fire or contact ServiceMaster Restore at 813-603-2001 in Hillsborough County.