Don’t Do These Things After A House Fire
A house fire is a tragedy that carries a heavy emotional toll. And after a house fire, you probably just want to check everything out and see what can be salvaged and what you’ve lost.
The experts at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offer some great advice: Don’t enter your home after the fire, and here are some reasons why not.
- 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 Fire
Leave 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 DKI, 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.
Fires are traumatic for your entire family. To be sure to take care of everyone’s emotional needs, schedule counseling if necessary.
Contact Complete DKI for Full-Service Restoration
At Complete DKI, we understand how structures and contents react to heat, smoke, and fire, and what steps are needed to minimize the damage for property owners. We specialize in cleaning and repairing properties that have suffered fire damage and work toward protecting and securing your property from further damage.
Our experts are highly trained at assessing the type of fire damage, reasons for the same, and factors affecting the restoration job. We understand every fire is unique and poses unique challenges when it comes to restoration.
As smoke and fire damage restoration professionals, we eradicate smoke smell and neutralize odor, offering you the highest standard of fire damage service. We’re your one-stop shop for all fire damage services and can help bring your property from the ruins to its original condition. Contact us today!