Fire damage is one of the most tragic situations that one can face. Fire can destroy an entire building or a part of it, and it can cause significant property damage, disrupt the functioning of an entire system, and scare the living daylights out of you. If you have been a victim of fire, you must consider the following tips to help you recover from fire damage.
Contact your insurance agent and understand the rules and regulations
In cases when you suffer fire damage, the first thing is to contact your insurance agent if you can call them immediately after the incident; your claim gets processed much faster.
Given that you are looking to recover from a fire incident, you should be aware of the laws and regulations in your state. In most states, homeowners have six months after an event to file a claim for fire loss damages. However, if certain conditions like obligations to previous insurance providers are met, you can file a claim three months after the incident. The payout for fire loss is determined on an agreed settlement basis and by referral of your insurance company to a valid mediator; in some cases, when there’s no agreement set between parties, third-party litigation experts will be hired as evaluators of damages. The fire loss claim settlement period varies in most states; some states require you to file the full claim immediately, and others guarantee a 90-day window within which your case needs to be filed before filing lapses out.
Recovering from Fire Damage
After you have gathered the necessary information and reached an agreement with your insurance agent, it’s now time to start recovering from fire loss. There are several activities that you can check out while carrying out these recovery procedures:
- Personal items should be laid away in storage facilities or given temporary storage.
- Professional cleanup should be taken up immediately after that; the chances are that your fire damage will include smoke and odor from charred material, so it’s a good idea to hire someone for the job (Consider hiring companies well-versed in this field of work.)
- You may also want to look into getting a home inspection done by professionals experienced in detecting structural problems and working with building codes.
After the fire damage, repair, and restoration processes are complete, it’s essential to review your home security system for potential problems. Fire restoration specialists usually conduct risk assessments based on structural checks such as metal studs and their strength. Moisture intrusion into walls from roof penetrations or fractures could also pose a threat to your safety.
Make a list of damaged items
It would be best if you immediately started making a list of all the items inside your residence that are damaged. Fire damage can destroy valuable household stuff, and you want to keep track of anything you’re missing or want to replace.
For simplicity’s sake, it might be a good idea to take a photograph of all the affected objects in your living room so you can quickly easy identify them later on. This way, they won’t end up lost or misplaced somewhere after the fire has been put out.
Write down their names and model numbers and include an overview of how much they might cost if replacement is needed.
It’s beneficial to inform the insurance company, who will be looking into an appraisal process and paying out claims on determining how much your possessions are worth now that they’re damaged or lost.
The restoration tasks can be discussed individually. However, they often overlap, so hiring a professional team to perform general duties is advisable.
Among other things, a fire cleanup agent specifically assesses and cleans the windows and doors, carpeting and flooring materials, wall paintings/paint caked on walls upholstered furniture. The restoration crew also checks for obvious cracks in concrete floors that could serve as fuel conduits.
Consider the following parameters during your assessment and work on educating yourself about how to identify fire damage:
- The amount of origin heat-affected items present in total must be calculated as a percentage value 2. The functionality/insulation abilities of each item have to be assessed to determine what exactly can be repaired/replaced
- The cleanup agent must keep track of all the details and deadlines, organize them according to tasks by project and time allowance.
- Allow at least a few days or two weeks (depending on how much work is affected ) for each of the tasks to be completed, not exceeding three weeks for a full cleanup.
Many professional services (such as restoration specialists and fire cleanup) have been in business for decades. It isn’t enough to choose a professional based on their experience; perform a background check by talking to their latest clients and following their online reviews online to confirm they are the right fit.
Precautions against Fire Hazards
When there are any common hazards in or around your house that cause potential fire areas, then it’s wise to take steps to prevent them. Most minor and major property owners tend not to take these precautions even though they are available for free or effortlessly carried out. Make sure you have smoke alarms on every level of your place, including hallways and bedrooms.
Educating yourself on current NFPA Fire Codes & Standards and putting them into place will prevent a massive loss in your property value or many days’ worth of recovery time. Properly installing electrical sockets, ceilings, flooring, and walls are very important to ensuring fire safety services are up to code standards.
Many fire suppression systems are available at minimal costs, including wired and wireless smoke alarm units, carbon monoxide detectors, integrated sprinkler transducers, and radio-controlled emergency sirens.
Fire damage is one of the worst types of damage you can experience. It’s hard to recover from, and there are specific steps you need to take to help protect your property and belongings. However, follow these tips to recover smoothly and efficiently if the inevitable happens. Do let us know in the comments below if you have any additional tips or questions about fire damage!