A house fire is one of the biggest disasters that can happen to your home. While you will undoubtedly need time to recover from the emotional and financial stress of a house fire, there are a few things that you should do as soon as possible after the fire has occurred. Here are the first three steps you should take if your home been damaged by fire but is still standing.
Secure the Home
Unfortunately, burned-out houses are a frequent target for looters. Because of this, you should make it a point to secure the site as soon as possible once the emergency services have verified that it is safe to go back inside. In addition to keeping any remaining belongings safe, most insurance companies will require that the site is secured to prevent further damage.
Common methods that are used to secure your home after a fire include placing padlocks on your doors and/or boarding up windows and doors. It is a good idea to purchase barricade tape to block off your home, or ask emergency services if they will do so. You may also want to purchase temporary fencing and install it around the perimeter of your property.
Contact Your Insurer
Contacting your insurer is the most important thing you can do to get yourself back on track financially. It can take months to process your insurance claim after your house has burned, so you should do it as soon as possible.
In addition to getting your insurance claim set up, the insurer can also help you with other aspects of recovering after a fire. Your insurer will often have valuable information about lodging options if you do not have friends or family that you can stay with. They will also be able to provide counseling on the best way to manage your living expenses while you are without a home.
Tackle the Cleanup, or Hire a Pro
Cleaning up fire and smoke damage is not an easy task, but it may not be an unconquerable one either, depending on the severity of the fire. Smoke damage can go beyond the soot and ash that you see on your walls, floors, and furniture, and your home may still not be structurally sound even after the interior is spotless. For larger fires, it is almost always best to hire a professional disaster cleanup team like CTR Cleanup & Total Restoration. Your insurer can also make recommendations about the best cleaners to hire in your area.
Recovering after a house fire will never be easy, but the best way to handle it is to take it in steps. By doing these three things first after the fire, you can be well on your way to living your normal life again.