The First Things To Do When You Come Home After A House Fire
Having a fire in your home is uniquely challenging. If you and your family members all make it out without injury, you should count yourself lucky. However, you do still need to deal with the damage to your home, which can be a long and demanding process. If you start off on the right foot, the entire process of fire damage restoration should go more smoothly. So, here are the first things you should do when you come home after a house fire.
Make sure the electricity is off.
Usually, if a fire company has to come put out a fire, they contact the power company and have the power turned off in the home. But it does not hurt to double-check that this is the case before you enter the home. Power and water do not mix, and you're at risk of electrical shock if you enter a home that's been blasted by fire hoses and still has power. Call your power provider and confirm that your electricity is off before going inside the home.
Remove items that are still in good shape.
There may be pieces of furniture, personal possessions, and decor that have not been touched by water, and that were far enough away from the main fire that they did not become smoke-filled. Remove these items from the home as soon as possible, and find another place to store them. The longer they remain in the moist home, the more likely they are to start growing mold. If something is already growing mold, it is not generally salvageable.
Get rid of food.
Food should never be salvaged. Even if it appears to be in a sealed container, smoke could have found its way through; it's tough to tell. Get rid of food, and document everything you throw away. Insurance should reimburse you for all of it.
Call a fire damage restoration team.
After you check the items above off your "to-do" list, call a fire damage restoration company. They can clear out the water, dry out your space, and remove all of the furniture and building materials that were touched by fire, water, or smoke. This service is usually paid for by your homeowners insurance, so you might as well take advantage of it. When their work is done, you can hire contractors to repair your home.
Find out more about residential disaster restoration to know what to do in your situation.