Following a house fire, you’re likely to be in shock – particularly if it’s a major fire. However, there are certain steps that you need to take immediately for your own wellbeing and to aid your recovery.
Once you’ve called the firefighters and the fire has been put out, you should consider doing some of the following things.
Seek medical attention if necessary
If you’ve sustained burn injuries or if you’ve inhaled a lot of smoke, it could be worth getting yourself checked out by a doctor. Various health problems can develop after being exposed to fire or smoke from bacterial infections to pneumonia – seeking immediate medical attention can prevent any of these health problems from developing.
Contact your insurance company
If you have home insurance that covers fire damage, you should call up your insurer straight away following a fire. Some insurers won’t be willing to accept any claims for damage if you don’t contact them within 48 hours of the fire. You don’t have to make a claim straight away, but you do need to notify insurers immediately that there has been a fire at your property.
Get your utilities checked
Utilities such as gas, water and electricity may be affected by a fire. It is best not to use any appliances that use any of these utilities until you’ve had them checked out. This is to ensure that they are still safe to use and that there is no major damage that needs repairing first.
Look into mitigation services
There are services out there that specialise in property damage recovery following a disaster. Ideally, you want to start work on recovery as soon as possible, rather than waiting several weeks – this could prevent further damage being caused. Look into mitigation services that can take action quickly. You may want to talk to your insurer first to make sure that no claim is made void – it may be wise to get an insurance agent out first and to have your claim processed so that you’re certain to receive your insurance payout.
Decide whether you need temporary accommodation
If your home has been damaged to the extent that sleeping in it could be unsafe, you should consider looking for alternative temporary accommodation until repairs are made. You may be able to stay with friends or family. There are also forms of free emergency accommodation available to victims of disasters – it is worth looking into this accommodation if you have nowhere else to turn.
Secure your property
Opportunistic burglars often target homes that are abandoned following a fire. Once the fire has been put out, if it is safe to enter your property, it could be worth removing all precious valuables. Alternatively, you may be able to put up barriers around the home or install a security camera. This can prevent you from being a further victim of disaster.