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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

5 Action Steps to Take After a Westwood Fire

6/12/2015 (Permalink)

A house fire is one of the most frightening and disruptive events that can impact a family.

5 Action Steps to Take After a Fire 

A house fire is one of the most frightening and disruptive events that can impact a family. After surviving a fire, it is crucial to remain calm and take the steps that will help you recover from this traumatic event. Enlisting the prompt support of family and emergency service professionals, like SERVPRO, can really make a difference in the recovery process. 

The first step to take after a Westwood fire is to seek shelter for your family. In most cases, it is not safe to sleep or eat in a home where a fire has just occurred. If possible, seek shelter in the home of a supportive friend or family member. If you have pets, remember to choose a place to stay that is pet-friendly. Pets are often just as traumatized as their owners after a fire and it is important to keep them warm and comfortable. 

After finding a safe place for you and your family to stay, your home should be thoroughly examined to determine which contents should be discarded and which can be saved or restored. A professional fire restoration company, like SERVPRO, can provide a formal evaluation to eliminate any doubts about which items may be salvaged. Regardless of who evaluates your home, it is a good idea to refrain from entering the home until firefighters confirm that it is safe for you to enter your home. Upon initial reentry of your home after a Westwood fire, it is a good idea to locate and secure important paperwork and documents such as birth certificates and social security cards.  

Following an initial examination of your home, you should contact your insurance company. This will likely be the first of many phone calls about the fire that take place between you and your insurance company. This first call is important because your insurance company can provide guidance on the individual steps that you should take to ensure that you receive any applicable financial coverage for your property damage. In most cases, you will be advised to maintain all of your receipts for expenses related to the fire and to make a list of all damaged items along with their approximate values. 

After you have a safe place to stay and have contacted your insurance company, you should then notify your family and close friends to alert them about the fire. This is especially important if you have secured temporary housing in a different neighborhood. Family and friends can play a vital role in providing you with the vital emotional support that you need to recover after a Westwood fire

Finally, it is important to remember the key role that a professional fire restoration company, like SERVPRO, can play in recovery after a fire. In addition to being able to evaluate the contents of your home to identify items that can be salvaged, they have the equipment and resources necessary to safely remove ashes and soot from your valuables. They can also deodorize your home to remove any unpleasant smells that result from the smoke that infiltrated your house. By enlisting the help of a SERVPRO, you can save money and prevent your home from suffering long term structural damage that could result from a fire. 

What To Do After A Fire

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
  • Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
  • Clean and protect chrome with light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
  • Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
  • Change HVAC filter.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers. 

What NOT To Do After A Fire

  • Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting us.
  • Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Don't use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
  • Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

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