Going through a fire is devastating. While in shock from the disaster, figuring out what to do can be complicated and often overwhelming.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there were 1,291,500 fires in 2019. USFA also found $14.8 Billion in loss from fire that same year.
After the fire is out, the best thing you can do is contact a Fire Damage Restoration specialist to help put your home or business back the way it was.
Immediately After A Home Fire You Should:
- Call 911 and get everyone to a safe place, and give first aid as needed.
- Transport people and animals that are seriously burned or injured to a medical facility.
- Inform your family and friends you are safe.
- Stay out of your home or structure that was fire damaged until the local fire authorities give the ok to re-enter.
- Contact your local fire restoration professional.
How to pick a Fire Disaster Restoration Company?
When disaster strikes, you want a company that will respond 24hrs a day, seven days a week, and is from the area. Local fire restoration companies know the local emergency response teams and understand the local codes. When researching disaster restoration companies, make sure they are licensed and insured for the type of work they will be doing on your project. Most disaster recovery and rehabilitation construction is specific and needs different qualifications. Many projects after a fire would need specialized contractors that perform technical services like roofing or mold remediation.
What does a Fire Damage Restoration Company Do?
The service can vary from service provider to service provider, but at the most basic, here is a list of services that most Fire Damage Restoration companies should provide.
- They will work with your insurance provider and record and document everything for the insurance companies.
- Remove un-damaged items from your home to process for cleaning.
- Secure the foundation and patch up any unnecessary holes by boarding up and tarping.
- Smoke and soot clean up and removal.
- Repairing and preventing water damage from doing further harm.
- Pumping and drying out any standing water and moisture.
- Removal of all fire-damaged structures and fixtures.
- Help families restore sanity.
Can you live in your home during fire damage restoration?
The short answer is no; even if you can not see any signs of smoke or fire damage, there could still be toxic residue and particles left behind. These particles are a health hazard and can severely affect people with heart disease, diabetes, lung disease, pregnant women, babies, and the elderly. You should only move back into your home after a Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) can test the air and approve that it is livable.
Where can I live when my home is being restored after a fire?
Trying to sort things out after a fire has ravaged your home can be daunting, and one of the biggest concerns is where can I stay while my home is being restored? Typically your homeowners’ insurance policies provide Additional Living Expense (ALE) that will help you pay for life during the restoration process. The ALE can cover groceries, restaurant bills, hotel rooms, and even animal boarding. Most expenses that accrue in addition to your regular expenses due to the disaster you incurred should be covered with an ALE.
If you do not have ALE coverage and have nowhere to go, contact your local Salvation Army or Red Cross before you risk your health and safety by staying in a house with fire and smoke damage.
What can be saved or restored after smoke damage?
Picking up and sorting through your home after a fire in Charlotte, you should carefully decide what to try and keep and what not to keep. First of all, anything touched by fire and burned should be thrown away or disposed of properly. It can be difficult to decide to throw things away due to sentimental value, but when it becomes a health hazard, do you even have a choice?
Items that should be tossed after a fire are items like non-perishable food that was exposed to heat and smoke. Food safety should not be questioned; even if you can’t see the damage and the item seems ok, it most likely is non-edible. Even in cans, toxic fumes can contaminate or heat up the food and activate bacteria that can spoil your food. Also, if you have food in a fridge or freezer that smells smokey and has an odd odor or soot penetrated the refrigerator. You should throw it out and not attempt to salvage it.
Other items to carefully consider are medicines, cosmetics, clothing, bedding, and other textiles. Some of these items can be salvaged after a house fire, but if they are burned or have smoke damage, it’s best to throw them out unless it is highly valuable.
The old saying “when in doubt, throw it out” applies when deciding what to keep after a fire.
Trying to put your life back together after a fire is never fun and often an overwhelming disaster a family has to endure. Many communities have resources you can look to for guidance on how to put your life back together after fire damage. The American Red Cross in Charlotte, NC, is a great resource here locally for anyone that has been affected by a house fire in Charlotte, North Carolina.
A top Fire Damage Restoration company in Charlotte can help you sort out the damage, what the following steps to take, and help you rebuild your home better than new. Get your life back together with someone on your side. Call National Insurance Claim Specialists today!
We are here to assist you after a disaster. We provide Fire Restoration and new construction services in Charlotte, North Carolina.