What's the First Step After a Fire?
Fires can be understandably overwhelming. Here are the first steps to take after a fire.
- Ask the firefighters or proper authorities on the scene if it is safe to go inside the residence.
- Call your insurance company so they can start a claim and initiate paperwork. If you are a tenant contact your landlord.
- Call loved ones to let them know you are okay and inform anyone who wasn’t home what happened.
- Secure the residence to prevent theft by locking doors and covering windows or holes. If you need help, there are numerous companies that offer these services.
- Get a copy of the fire report by contacting your local fire department.
- If the residence is uninhabitable, contact a friend or relative in the area to see if you can stay with them or the American Red Cross for assistance.
- Notify your employer, friends, family, post office, children’s schools, delivery services such as newspapers, utilities, telecom services and the police all of your current move.
- Consider the cleanup requirements. Is this a small fire or a large project you will have to hire a company for?
- Talk to your insurance company about what your policy covers before having a cleanup and restoration company come on site.
- If counseling is needed, especially for small children, don’t be afraid to seek help.