Essential First Steps After Experiencing Fire Damage in Columbus, Alabama

Many are aware of the basics for preventing fire damage within your home, but are you prepared for the steps after fire damage occurs? Residential fires can happen despite our best efforts, and our actions afterward can set the tone for how quickly the situation is remedied. Below, the essential first steps after experiencing fire damage are outlined so that you can be better prepared. fire damage restoration columbus

Step #1: Evaluate Your Family’s Safety

Even if nobody was injured, residential fires can be traumatizing, especially for younger family members. Before getting caught up in the paperwork and stress of the restoration, take a moment to ensure your family is alright. Remember that smoke and soot residue can continue to affect your loved one’s health even though the flames have been put out.

Step #2: Contact Your Insurance Company 

You want to do this as soon as you ensure everyone is safe. Contacting your insurance company starts the documentation and insurance claim process, which you wish to begin as early as possible. Your insurance agent should be able to walk you through the necessary steps and assist you in arranging for an emergency alternative housing if required. They may even put you in contact with restoration companies. Even if you don’t have fire insurance, your home insurance company should still be contacted. They may be able to assist with damaged possessions and can help inform you of your options. 

Step #3: Determine If Your Home Is Safe

Do not enter a home after a fire unless cleared by a professional. The severity of the damage may not be visible to the untrained eye, and structural integrity may be compromised in addition to what is visibly burned. You do not want to go in after something and risk a collapsed floor or roof. Smoke, soot, and burned plastics can also present additional health risks. 

Step #4: Gather Valuables 

If you have been cleared to enter your home, you can attempt to gather valuables and necessary paperwork and documentation. It is a good idea to have a small fireproof safe in the house for items like passports and birth certificates for just these occasions. Remember that high heat and smoke may affect the composition of items even if they are not visibly damaged. Do not ingest food or medication or use cosmetics that have been kept near a house fire. 

Step #5: Document And Organize Possessions 

Go through what has been ruined and what can be kept. Some items may be visibly acceptable but are now smoke-stained. Creating itemized lists and photos of everything can be helpful, especially if your insurance company has requested documentation, which it often will. 

Step #6: Contact A Professional Restoration Team

Not only is fire damage restoration necessary, but if firefighters use hoses to put out the flames, there may be water damage in addition to the fire, smoke, and soot damage. A professional company can evaluate any concerns and help you return your home to its previous condition as quickly as possible. If you are local to Columbus or East Alabama, don’t hesitate to contact Restoration 1 of East Alabama. Our team is ready to help with any fire damage restoration needs 24/7.