Posted on: 15 September 2016Share
The need for damage remediation after a house fire is urgent, but that doesn't mean you should try to do the cleaning job yourself; instead, limit yourself to activities you know will be productive while the professionals are on the way. Here are five tips about what you should and shouldn't do while waiting.
1. Call your insurance
Your insurance company should be notified of the damage as early as possible. If you haven't called them already, now is a good time to do so. They'll probably want to send an insurance adjuster come out to see the damage, and it's in your best interests to have the adjuster arrive before too much cleanup occurs so he or she doesn't get a false impression of how bad the damage is. If the adjuster isn't able to come out right away, discuss with your insurance company the possibility of having photos taken of the damage instead of having an adjustor come in person.
2. Turn off electricity
When there's water damage in your home, the electricity is a constant danger to everyone's safety. And (unfortunately) water damage is very common after a fire, since one of the commonest ways to put fires out is by spraying water all over everything. Standing water can become electrified easily, and using electrical outlets in a wet area is never a good idea, so turn off the electricity until the specialists arrive and can assess the risks and damage. In addition, water can get into appliances and electronics and cause them to short out.
3. Ask the remediation company for a list of things you can do to help
Some remediation companies will advise you to open the windows of your home (if it's safe to enter) and may even allow you to start cleanup at once, depending on the type of smoke involved and the materials that need cleaning. If you forgot to ask the company what you can clean up while you were calling to inform them of the fire, call back now and ask what you can and can't start cleaning up. Don't just start wiping surfaces down indiscriminately; some surfaces can become more damaged if you even touch them because the soot will mingle with the oils from your skin.
4. Stay out of the building if there's a possibility of compromised structural integrity
Before you start any cleanup, ask the firefighters if the building is safe to enter. If they're not sure or if they say no, stay out of the building until it's been inspected and repaired. You can call the insurance company from a neighbor's phone if necessary.
5. Call any emergency contacts you need to get in touch with
Depending on the severity of the fire, you may need another place to stay while the remediation takes place. If you need a relative to come pick you up, now is a good time to call them. Or call a nearby hotel to make reservations so you can be near at hand while the repairs are going on.
These five tips will help you stay both safe and busy so you don't feel useless while waiting for the remediation specialists to arrive. Although a house fire can be horribly unsettling, remediation specialists like FRSTeam by DKS Dry Cleaning Restoration will be able to make it feel like home again in time.