Experiencing a fire in your home, even if it results in minimal damage, can be devastating. You may not know where to start with repairing and restoring your home. Fortunately, fire restoration services can help to clear away debris, clean the home, and repair damages. Before your fire restoration crew begins work, there are a few things you can do immediately after the fire to begin to get your home, and your life, back to normal. Use this guide to learn about some of those first steps to take after a house fire.
Seek Alternate Living Arrangements
Your home may not be safe to live in, even after a minor fire. Smoke and soot can be dangerous to breathe in, and the water used to put out the fire may result in mold growth on the walls, floors, and surfaces of furniture. Work with your insurance company to see if you can get a voucher or reimbursement for a hotel stay, or ask to stay with relatives until your home is ready to inhabit again.
Provide Proper Ventilation
In the hours after the fire, once the fire department has given you permission to re-enter the home, take steps to air out the building. Open windows and doors to let smoke out and to help begin the drying process for waterlogged areas of the home. Don't attempt to plug in fans or other electrical appliances, as the electrical system may not be safe to operate.
Remove Undamaged Personal Items
Your home may not be secure in the hours and days after the fire, so you'll want to take steps to remove personal items and valuables that haven't been damaged, if possible. This is particularly important if your doors were forced open in an attempt to put out the fire or to remove people from the home. Be sure to ask the fire department if every area of the home is safe to enter before attempting to remove any items. For example, the floors on a second story may not be strong enough to support your weight after the fire, which may mean you won't be able to enter any second floor bedrooms. Remember that your personal safety is paramount, so don't take any risks to remove items from the home.
Clear Out The Refrigerator
If possible, remove all food from the refrigerator and freezer in your home. This appliance will likely be without power for some time, and removing the items right away can prevent odors and mold growth. Once each compartment is emptied out, leave the doors propped open slightly to allow air to flow freely throughout the appliance. Before plugging it or any other major appliance in after your home is repaired, be sure to have the appliances inspected by a professional, as motors or other essential components may have been damaged during the fire.
Work with your insurance company and the fire department to ensure that your home is secure and that you are following all possible safety precautions as you begin to repair your home. Your insurance company can assist you with locating a fire restoration service like Icon Property to begin the necessary repairs and remove damaged items from your home.