What You Should Know Before and After a House Fire Happens
You’ve just been away from home for a few hours—perhaps out to dinner and a movie. You’ve enjoyed yourself and are ready for a good night’s rest. As you drive down the road back to your house, you see flashing red, white, and blue lights. Firefighters. Police. Ambulance. The whole 911 shabang. The firefighters are outside, hoses in hand and putting out a fire. You feel a pang in your gut and your heart pounds faster in a panic. Your house is on fire!
Nobody wants to come home to this scene.
You shouldn’t wait until the moment your house is on fire to learn what you could have done to prevent it from happening. That moment should not be the moment when you learn how to respond either—after all, you won’t have time to Google step-by-step actions during a fire situation. That’s why we recommend you know prevention and restorative response techniques before a fire ever occurs.
3 Tips for Prevention
Although there are “freak accidents” and not every house fire can necessarily be prevented, there are still several ways you can still do your part to prevent them. Here are just a few suggestions.
1. Maintain Your Smoke Alarms
Plain and simple. If your smoke alarm isn’t working, it can’t let you know when there’s smoke in your house. So if you’ve left something on the stove, it won’t tell you the food is burning which will put you at risk of a house fire starting. Make sure to check your alarm’s batteries once a month to see if they’re working. If they’re not, replace them immediately—don’t put it off!
2. Change Out Filters
Your home’s heating and cooling sources have filters that collect dust and lint, making it more flammable. To keep it from catching on fire, set a reminder on your phone, Google calendar, or whichever source is best for you to change out the filter once a year.
3. Be Careful with Candles and Fireplaces
Candles and fireplaces help make your home feel more comfortable. However, they’re very easy to neglect. Never leave your house—even for a quick errand—without blowing out candles and putting out the fire in the fireplace.
To properly extinguish the fireplace fire, use the poker to spread the embers around. You want the embers to be away from each other so that they can cool down faster. If you’re in your house, you can just let the embers die out. If you need to leave and speed up the process, take a spray bottle and spray water on the firewood and embers.
3 Pieces of Advice for Restorative Response
In no way, shape, or form would we expect you to call us before 911. It’s critical that you take care of your immediate needs first. Get yourself and your household outside, call 911, and let the fire die down before taking any restorative response measures. Once your immediate needs have been taken care of, take these three steps.
1. File Your Insurance Claim ASAP
This is absolutely one of the first things you should do. State Farm explains it best, “You’ll need to start a claim and address your immediate needs. ‘Loss of use’ funds from your insurance policy will cover living and other daily expenses. If you receive these funds or an advance on your claim, save all receipts and keep a detailed record of all purchases. Your insurance agent should also be able to help you secure your property and offer recommendations for cleaning up or restoring salvageable items.”
2. Make a List of Losses
If there’s anything you lost in the fire that had a warranty behind it, check your online bank statements for proof of purchase and contact the businesses you got those items from and ask for replacements. Also, make sure you take note of any important documents you may have lost as well so that you can work on replacing them. Such documents would be:
- Drivers’ licenses
- Birth certificates
- Titles and deeds
- Medical records
- Tax information
3. Contact a Restoration Company
Once you’ve contacted insurance and taken care of all immediate needs, you should contact a restoration company. They will make an evaluation of your needs and help you figure out how much the project will cost financially. The professionals at Kelmann Restoration will be able to take care of the following parts of the post-fire cleanup process:
- Property board-up
- Fire damage cleanup
- Water damage cleanup
- Contents restoration
- Repairs and reconstruction
Call on Kelmann
At Kelmann Restoration, we stand with fellow Wisconsin families and homeowners. If your house ever catches on fire, we will be here for you! We’re a dedicated restoration company that understands your need for security and the role your home plays in that. Don’t hesitate to call us to learn more about our fire and smoke damage restoration services.