A house fire is one of the most devastating disasters that anyone can experience. Even if nobody is hurt, the loss of possessions and the damage to your home can be very traumatic, and the recovery and fire damage restoration process can be stressful.
Determining what to do after a house fire one step at a time can help you move forward with as little discomfort as possible.
What to Do After a House Fire
These actions will help get you back on your feet as quickly as possible when you’re lost and don’t know what to do after a house fire. It is emotionally beneficial to move on with your life as soon as you can, but you have to do everything sensibly to ensure the rest of your life starts smoothly.
Step 1: Prepare to Work With the Fire Department
The local fire department will be involved in the case of any serious house fire. One of the first things that they’ll ask you to do is file a fire report. This report will require you to list the details of the fire. You’ll have to write down how it started, where it started, and the time it started. Keep in mind that the insurance company will be looking at this report. Also, keep in mind that the police department may be involved as well. If you need a copy of the fire report later, you can get it from the fire department.
Step 2: Make a List of Items Lost or Damaged
After the fire department lets you know that it is safe for you to return to your house, it is time for you to make a list of lost and damaged items. This list is necessary for filing an insurance claim. Many homeowners find making such a list quite helpful for their own purposes, as well. It can help homeowners achieve a sense of closure about the fire and move on.
Step 3: File a Claim with Your Insurance
Filing an insurance claim is arguably the most important part of the process. It is necessary to start the process of getting an insurance payout. Different insurance companies have different guidelines for filing claims, so check with your insurance company if you are unsure how to do this. Keep your fire report and list of items handy, as the insurance inspectors will need this information. Also, be prepared to answer questions about the fire and to have inspectors from the insurance company visiting the house. Once they insurance company has thoroughly investigated the fire, they will pay you or the bank if you have a mortgage.
Life After a House Fire
Once you’ve outlined what to do after a house fire and completed each step, the immediate aftermath of the fire will be over. You’ll have to wait for your insurance to pay out and for a restoration company to not only repair after the fire but also clean and eliminate smoke damage. These things take time, so don’t expect everything to go back to normal quickly. Be prepared to wait, and focus on the things that you can do in the meantime to get your life back on track. Don’t worry about things that are out of your control.