What to do After a House Fire
Do you know that a fire department in the United States responds to a fire every 24 seconds? Does it surprise you how frequently house fires occur? Hopefully your home will never have to endure a devastating house fire, but if it does end up happening to you, here is what you can do once the smoke has cleared and the fire department has left the scene.
- Don’t plan to immediately move back into the house. Even the parts of the house that weren’t damaged by the flames can be dangerous for people to inhabit. Smoke damage can cause soot and smoke to stick to the walls, floors, and furniture, which makes it dangerous for you to breathe. Fire can also cause electrical hazards and affect ducts and insulation in your walls, attic, and crawl space.
- Make sure cleanup is handled properly and promptly. Soot and ash discolor surfaces, and the longer you wait to clean it off of your belongings, the worse that discoloration will be, and the lower the likelihood will be that it can be returned to preloss condition. In fact, after just a few days, discoloration of walls and fabric items can become permanent. Left for weeks, the residue left behind by a house fire can corrode metal, permanently etch glass, and cause wood and vinyl surfaces to deteriorate to an irreparable degree.
- Call in the professionals. Cleaning up the damage left behind by fire requires meticulous care. If it isn’t handled with extreme caution, soot residue can contaminate the entire building. What’s more, fire restoration experts know what can and cannot be salvaged and have the equipment and products needed to comprehensively clean your home. Professionals also know how to work with insurance adjusters, and can often bill the insurance company directly, making the process much easier for you.
- Call your insurance company. Your homeowner’s insurance will cover damage to your home from a fire or smoke. This includes damage caused by a fire at a neighboring building, as well as damage caused by wildfires. The house, fences, driveway, sheds, and other structures on your property are also protected. Homeowner’s insurance also covers the cost of most personal items lost in a fire, and typically also covers additional living expenses, even for months at a time if necessary, while you regroup. Other people on your property at the time are also covered. The only time a homeowner’s policy will not cover damages from a fire is if you or someone else named on your policy caused the fire intentionally.
If you have suffered through a home fire and your property sustains fire damage, you don’t have to go it alone. Call SERVPRO of Putnam County for help with fire restoration. Our highly-trained restoration technicians have the experience and equipment to restore your Putnam County home back to normal. A trusted leader in the fire damage restoration service industry, we’ve served our community for more than 25 years. Call (386) 328-8660, to get the restoration care you deserve.