What to Do if You Have Fire Damage
When you need fire restoration in St Charles, you want the best. St. Louis Cleaning and Restoration has been offering fire restoration services for over 20 years.
Fire accidents are devastating, yet no one has control over the time they strike, the extent of the damage they cause, or their aftermath. The best you can do is to put in place measures that can help prevent fire damage. When fire damage does happen, you want to do all you can to avert any loss and request intervention from the providers of fire restoration in St. Charles.
What to Expect After a Fire
The extent of the damage on your property will be determined by the intensity of the fire. In some instances, your house will be left standing while in others, everything will be reduced to ashes. If there are items that the fire didn’t consume, they could be damaged by the soot, smoke or the water that the firefighters used to douse the flames. In addition to this damage, the firefighters could have torn down walls or torn holes in the roof in a bid to look for any hidden flames to put them out.
Steps to Take When There’s Fire Damage
Here’s what you should do if fire damages your property:
1. Take Care of Your Family
The first step you should take is to ensure each member of your family is safe. Those who need medical attention should be rushed to the hospital or have first aid administered as they wait for the ambulance to come.
2. Search for Accommodations
If fire destroys the majority of the entire home, one should search for accommodations for the family. You could contact your relatives and friends and ask them to host you for a while as you get back to your feet. If there’s no one nearby to assist, you could contact local disaster relief services such as The American Red Cross, State Emergency Services and the Salvation Army. These organizations can help one to find accommodation, food and medicine.
3. Get in Touch with Your Insurance Agency
Contacting your insurance agent is the next step. It is important that you ask them about the order of steps that will be taken to help restore or rebuild your home. Some insurance companies will ask that you start with listing everything that was destroyed in the fire. Such lists include the items, their description and prices or values of items.
In the absence of such an arrangement, you can contact the experts of fire restoration in St Charles to advise you on what to do as you prepare to rebuild the home.
4. Report the Loss of Any Credit Cards
As soon as you settle down, you should report any credit cards that were destroyed in the fire to the respective credit card companies. You can arrange for new cards to be sent to your temporary address, but it’s important that you update the provider about the card loss.
5. Secure the Property
Securing the building will prevent any possible looting of your partially damaged property. Most insurance policies will ask their customers to do this.
6. Use Extreme Caution
In their After a Fire article, FEMA advises the victim to be careful when re-entering the home after a fire. Inside the house could be items that are health hazards. For instance, the floor could be littered with pieces of glass from broken windows or shattered dishes.
7. Picking up the Pieces
The process of fire restoration in St. Charles is not an easy one. However, the steps provided below should act as a checklist for you.
- Clean up
If you intend to rebuild your home where the previous one was or repair the destroyed one, you’ll need to clean up. Depending on the amount of damage sustained, you could opt to do it yourself or employ the services of a cleaning company. If you choose to hire a company, discuss with your insurance agent regarding the coverage of the costs.
Ask for a price from the cleaning service provider and have the agreed upon price in writing. If you don’t know of any reputable cleaning service providers, you can ask for recommendations from friends and relatives. Your insurance company may also a reliable service provider they’ve used in the past.
- Replace Destroyed Documents
If you lost any documents in the fire, you should communicate with the different agencies to have them replaced immediately. Such documents include:
— Driver’s license
— Bank books
— Insurance policies
— Birth certificates
— Marriage certificates
— Title deeds E. T. C.
- Preserve Dollar Bills
It’s crucial that you try to preserve any bills that were partially damaged. You could do this by placing them in plastic wraps. Such bills will be replaced if they’re taken to a Federal Reserve Bank.
- Get a Contractor to Rebuild
The contractor you hire to rebuild your house should not only have a building permit but should also adhere to the existing building, fire and electrical codes of that area. Talk to a certified professional about the installation of sprinklers.
- Arrange for Installation of Smoke Alarms
Red Cross advises that you have smoke alarms installed in every sleeping room, hallways outside these rooms and in every floor. The alarms should be connected in such a way that if one sounds, the others will follow suit.
The alarms should not only use the power of the house, but also battery power so they can function even if the house power is cut. You need to have this in place even as you plan to rebuild your home. It will be useful for your safety and the family’s.
- Update Your Family Disaster Plan
You should restock any important disaster and emergency supplies to help you should the unthinkable happen in the future. You may want to obtain some training on handling fire accidents, have an extra fire extinguisher on hand, invest in a fire safe, and educate your family on how to respond in such situations.
Since disasters come without warning, it is important that you be prepared at all times. If you need further advice or need someone to clean up or repair your house, please contact us.