No one ever expects to deal with a house fire, but they happen more often that you might think. Fortunately, taking the right steps after the fire occurs can lessen the damage. Then, once a property is deemed salvageable and safe for cleaning up, it’s time to find a trusted fire damage restoration company.
Know the Common Causes of House Fires
Thousands of fires happen yearly, and many of them lead to serious injuries and fatalities. So, it pays to know how house fires begin and how to prevent them.
The leading cause of fires that happen at home is smoking. Make sure all cigarettes are completely extinguished before going to bed or leaving the house. And don’t smoke in bed or anywhere you’re likely to fall asleep.
Faulty wiring, broken electrical cords, and old appliances can all cause a house fire to occur. While you can’t totally prevent accidental electrical fires, take steps to lessen the likelihood—such as unplugging appliances when not in use, and getting rid of cords that are frayed or have wiring exposed.
Kitchen fires are another common cause of home damage, due often to poor handling of oil and grease. When cooking, don’t leave your stove unattended. Keep burners clean of grease and other flammables.
What to Do If You’re Dealing with Residential Fire Damage
If a house fire happens to you, what should you do next? Here are a few things to consider as you get back on your feet again.
Check in with Loved Ones
This step may seem obvious, but during traumatic events, we can sometimes forget to do the basics. Gather your family together to talk through what’s happening. Let people know how you’re doing. Ask for help if you need it.
Fire is harsh on your home’s windows and doors, weakening and even ruining them. Board up vulnerable openings to keep out looters, squatters, animals, and weather elements until your home is fully restored.
Water damage can be as bad or worse than fire damage. Firefighters use a lot of water to put out a fire, and it gets on everything. In addition, pipes and plumbing may malfunction during a fire, causing the home to flood. And if the fire occurs during a thunderstorm, such as from a lightning strike, rain may damage areas of the home too.
Special equipment used by water and fire damage restoration crews can help dry out any moisture to prevent further problems from wood rot, mildew, and mold.
Assess the Damage
It’s only when the fire has been completely extinguished that the full range of fire, water, and smoke damage can be determined. You’ll want to have a professional inspection to identify what can be fixed and what must be removed and replaced.
For insurance claims, you’ll need a list of any lost or damaged items. This can be a stressful, emotional undertaking, involving a lot of details to keep track off and make decisions about.
A reliable, professional mitigation and restoration crew can relieve some of this stress by helping create an itemized inventory of all your personal property.
Depending on the severity of the fire, you may have some items that are damaged and need to be cleaned. Other items may need to be moved out of the home while repairs are made. Anything that is salvageable should be separated into items you’ll keep with you, items you’ll store temporarily, and items that must be restored.
Clean and Restore Personal Items
Many of your personal items will need to be cleaned or restored due to the effects of flames, water, smoke, and soot. Clothing may need to be dry cleaned. Photographs and paperwork may need drying out. Paintings, furniture, and other valued items may need some attention too.
Cleaning and restoring these possessions can end up being a challenge if you try to do it yourself. An experienced restoration company with professional-grade tools can help.
How to Find a Trusted Fire Damage Restoration Company
If you’re dealing with the aftermath of a house fire, it’s essential to locate a topnotch restoration company that can help you get back on your feet. Here are questions you should ask as you look for the right remediation team.
How fast do they respond when you need them?
It’s vital to deal with fire and water damage quickly, so it doesn’t grow worse. Our restoration crew is available 24/7 to give you fast and effective assistance.
Are they licensed and insured?
Safety and liability issues are especially important when dealing with damaged property. Our team is licensed, insured, and bonded in Minnesota.
Are they well trained in restoration techniques?
Restoring a home after a fire involves a lot of detailed care. Our fire damage restoration crew is fully experienced with fire, water, smoke and soot cleanup, as well as interior and exterior restoration to return your home to tip-top shape.
Do they offer fire-proofing techniques as they rebuild your home?
As you restore your home, it’s smart to invest in materials that help prevent fires—such as noncombustible fiber cement siding and shatterproof windows. Our team can provide fire-proofing upgrades to safeguard your home.