Don’t Do These Things After A House Fire
- Dec 04, 2020
- Firefighters may have had to break windows and cut holes in the roof and walls. This, plus the fire, leaves debris you can trip over, or you could brush against something that causes an avalanche of damaged construction materials.
- Don’t take items and try to clean them yourself. The things in your home may be badly damaged by flames, heat, water and smoke. Even things that didn’t burn may be soggy with water or ruined by smoke.
Do I Need Professional Help?This isn’t a job for an amateur. Professional restoration service contractors have the right equipment to get rid of odor, remove smoke stains and get water out of your belongings.
- You risk your health by entering a fire-damaged home. To start with, there’s soot and dirty water. Burning also releases toxic chemicals that can make you sick. A professional service will neutralize odor and remove toxic materials.
- Don’t try to clean upholstery yourself. It won’t work. And in addition, you may just end up rubbing more soot into the fabric, making it harder for a professional to clean.
- Don’t use electrical appliances. If the fire is isolated to a certain part of the home, it’s tempting to use the microwave, toaster or other appliance. This is dangerous. They may have water or smoke damage and you could end up with another fire on your hands.
- Don’t eat any food that might have been exposed to heat. It could not only be spoiled, it could have been exposed to toxic microparticles.
- Do not turn on gas or other utilities. Firefighters will have turned off the gas and electricity. Leave them off until a professional says they're safe.
- Throw out all medication and cosmetics. Inspect the products stored in a medicine cabinet, closet, drawer, etc. for signs of heat, soot, fire extinguisher dust, or other damage. If anything is warped or charred, toss it out.
Things To Do After a House FireLeave the messy work to the professionals. You’ll have plenty to do, including:
- Contact family members to let them know what happened and your safety status.
- Call your insurance company and get a claim started.
- Call all utility providers and let them know what happened.
- Contact Complete, the fire damage restoration experts.
- Ask for and make sure you get a copy of the report from the fire department.
- Call your local police department and let them know that your home will be temporarily vacant.
- If you have children, notify their school so they know your children are going through a stressful time.
- Notify the post office to hold or forward your mail.
- Begin the process to replace important documents lost in the fire, including any licenses, passports and birth certificates.