After a Home Fire: 5 Things You Can’t Ignore
Unfortunately, home fires contribute to more than $7 billion in property damage annually. While there have been significant improvements in fire safety equipment and education, thousands of homeowners still face the daunting task of cleaning up and restoring their home after a residential fire each year.
If you do experience fire damage to your home, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed, anxious and confused about what to do next. But, it is important to remember that you can take steps now to mitigate the long-term damage and accelerate your emotional and physical path to recovery.
When fire strikes, remember that you can take control of the situation and protect your valuable investment. Here are a few guidelines that explore what to do after experiencing a residential fire.
- Consult your local fire department. If you do experience a fire in your home, your first instinct may be to go back inside as quickly as possible to survey the damage and start recovering your personal possessions.
But, your safety and the safety of your family comes first. Be sure to get explicit authorization from your local fire department certifying that the structure is safe to enter.
- Contact your insurance agent as quickly as possible to begin the claims process. Your fire insurance agent can help guide you through the process of filing a claim from the initial survey of fire damage all the way through the rebuilding process.
It is important to start working with your insurance company as quickly as possible since they can help ensure that the recovery process runs smoothly.
- Conduct a thorough evaluation of the damage and document any and all damage to the structure itself and your personal property. Make a list of things that may need to be replaced and also document the smoke and fire damage with photographs.
- Get assistance from your local Red Cross, churches or other non-profit organizations. Many communities offer assistance to families who have been displaced from their homes and provide food, clothing, temporary housing and more.
- Get a professional assessment of the cleanup requirements. While you may feel like saving money by tackling the cleanup efforts yourself, it’s important to first get a professional evaluation. Companies who specialize in helping families recover after experiencing fire damage can help you better understand the extent of your property damage that may not be visible to the naked eye. And, they can help you better understand what you can realistically accomplish on your own.
Experiencing a fire in your home can be emotionally, physically and financially taxing. Though, it’s important to remember that you aren’t alone. There are many resources available to help you rebuild your home, your property and your life.
Find a Local Expert
A part of the Knoxville, TN community since 1946, the John Bailey Company knows that you need more than the run-of-the-mill coverage offered by other insurers. That’s why our policies are designed especially for homeowners in East Tennessee. Learn the advantages of our customized coverage for your home, including home fire insurance.