What Should I Do After a House Fire?
Dealing with the aftermath of a house fire can seem overwhelming. You need to handle the insurance company, manage safety hazards, salvage water-damaged furniture and other belongings, and rebuild as needed. The following list of procedures will help restore your property with less stress.
1. Make Safety Your Number One Priority
No matter how tempting, don't enter your property until you receive the all-clear from emergency professionals that your home is structurally sound. Turn off utilities such as water, gas, and electricity.
Soot, ash, and smoke are also health and safety concerns. Before going inside, instruct everyone not to touch burned or damaged items without gloves and wear a safety mask to avoid inhaling dangerous smoke particles. Do not clean walls, furniture, and fabrics with soot on them.
- Do clean metal surfaces as soon as possible (door knobs, cabinet handles, stainless steel appliances).
- Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery, and carpet traffic areas.
- When the electricity is off, empty the freezer and refrigerator and prop open the doors to avoid mold damage.
- Avoid hidden threats such as electric shock, toxic mold growth, poor ventilation, and loss of structural integrity.
2. Contact Your Insurance Company
If you haven't already, call your insurance agent. Discuss the fire damage restoration process and find out exactly how much your policy covers for house fire damage. Make detailed records of affected belongings. Take pictures and video of the fire-damaged areas and their contents.
Arizona Total Home Restoration offers insurance mitigation to include help to file your claim, filing the claim on your behalf, and billing your insurance company directly. We can also cover up to 50% of your insurance deductible. Keep all receipts that pertain to items you have purchased related to the house fire.
3. Secure Your Property
You will need to find alternative accommodations after a house fire. Secure your property before you leave. Board up all doors and windows to deter looters. Inform the police that your property is now unoccupied and provide them with your new contact details. Also inform your local neighborhood watch group and ask neighbors to monitor your home. Let them all know that a home restoration company will be onsite performing damage repair.
Arizona Total Home Restoration provides the following Fire Restoration services:
- 24/7 Emergency Response.
- Onsite assessment, testing services, and a detailed estimate.
- Board-up, roof tarp, and interior containment.
- Pack-out, storage, and content cleaning of your personal items.
- Demolition and debris removal.
- Water extraction and professional dry-out (if water damage is present).
- Cleanup to include smoke odor removal, antimicrobial cleaning, and air purification.
- Duct cleaning.
- Reconstruction coordination.
4. Give Special Attention to Your Children and Pets
You’ve got a lot to do to move past a house fire trauma. But you will recover, both materially and emotionally. Remember how a house fire affects your kid’s and pets’ psyche as well. You may notice that they are fretful or fearful of unrelated people, places, or things after the fire. Staying in an unfamiliar environment compounds this natural anxiety.
Routines are different, sights and smells of your new accommodations may unsettle, and being without familiar objects of comfort is also upsetting. Adults get stressed in these situations; imagine the shock and confusion placed on your children and pets who don’t have the coping skills you do.
5. Get Professional Fire Damage Restoration Services
Before you hire a professional restoration company, ask them to provide a written estimate. Document all insurance mitigation to ensure you get the insurance coverage you deserve.
Damage to your household items continues even after a house fire is put out. Soot pits and corrodes objects like metal fixtures, which can tarnish within hours. Flooring, fabrics, and water-damaged furniture get compromised within a couple of days. Smoke particles linger in the air and soak into your belongings, another hazard to your health and property.
A water damage restoration company should have all the certifications and licensing needed for a proper repair and rebuild of your home. Your insurance company or HOA may refer you to one of their “partner” home restoration vendors, but that doesn’t mean you’ll have a positive experience. Check out the reviews, credentials, and staff at house fire restoration companies you are considering to be sure you feel comfortable.
The team at ATH understands what you're going through, and offers a sympathetic ear, expert guidance, and professional damage restoration company services. Browse heartfelt reviews from our customers and view project galleries of our work.
House Fire FAQs
Did you know...
- House fires often start while homeowners are away traveling or on vacation?
- The smoke smell lingers long after a house fire. Here are some DIY smoke odor removal tips.
- Nearly 4,000 people in the United States die in homes fire each year and over 20,000 are injured. Learn about the best smoke alarms for your home.
- Cooking is among the leading home fire causes and source of fire-related injuries in the United States. Get some kitchen fire safety tips.
- Smart home devices go a long way in helping prevent water and fire damage.
- It’s estimated that electrical failures or malfunctions account for 13% of all household fires. Here are 6 ways to prevent electrical fires.
Get a Free House Fire Damage Consultation
More fire damage FAQs will help you prevent a house fire. But we know how devastating the effects of a house fire can be if you've already experienced one. Our team has helped thousands of people just like you. We can salvage your belongings and restore your property back to its pre-damaged condition in a timely and professional manner.