A home fire is one of the most catastrophic things that can happen to someone in their lifetime. We recently got called to a home that caught fire, and the devastation was horrible. Thankfully, there were no casualties. However, the homeowner did have to go to the hospital. I have never had this happen to me personally, but I have known people who have. Here are some tips to help you through this process::
- Get out of the house. (If you’re reading this, I assume the fire has been put out.)
- Call your homeowners insurance company. (Don’t worry about having paperwork; they will look you up by name.)
- Call a local restoration company. (Most have 24-hour emergency response.)
- Stay in a hotel or with a friend.
- Meet insurance adjuster to go over damages.
Understandably, you will be rattled. After all, a serious event happened to you. Remember that everything will be ok, and if you and your family made it out alive, count that as a blessing.
Call Your Insurance Company
After the fire has been put out, next call your insurance company. Google the phone number for their claims hotline. A representative will look you up by your phone number and name. They will assign an adjuster who will contact you usually within 24 hours of the event. Don’t go back in the home unless you have permission from the fire department. If you must go in, wear a respirator since the soot from the fire and smoke can cause damage to your lungs and make you ill. Insurance companies also want to see the site undisturbed. so do not move much or throw away anything unless you have to.
Call a Local Restoration Company
The restoration company will come out and board up the windows and doors to your home to protect your valuables from vandals. Do not worry about having money on hand to pay the restoration company. They will bill your insurance company directly. The restoration company will usually have resources to get your clothes cleaned and back to you. We at National Builders have 24-hour turnaround from the time we get clothes from our homeowner to returning them cleaned. Then we take 7 days worth of clothing to be cleaned so you have clothes to work out in and go to work in. Our company will also start the process of remediating from your house that the fire department used to put out the fire. This is important if building materials and contents are to be saved from mold and mildew.
Find a Place to Stay
Stay in a hotel or with a friend. Your insurance company will usually pay for you to stay in a hotel. Also, contact your local Red Cross for assistance. The Red Cross will provide valuable resources for you, as well as cash assistance.
Meet With Your Insurance Adjuster
Within the next 3 to 5 days, you will meet your insurance adjuster. Make sure to have a representative from your restoration company there to make sure that everything is accounted for. Your restoration company should prepare a list of items that are salvageable and those that are not, which they will give to the insurance company. Your restoration company will also make sure that all construction done is up to code and completed correctly, to insure your insurance company pays for what is damaged. Without a restoration company, you could be missing out on benefits that are owed to you.
If you live in the Central Ohio area, contact us during business hours at National Builders at 614-699-2333 or call our 24-hour emergency hotline at 614-733-8887 if after hours and you need immediate board-up or contents cleaned. We are a local company that is licensed bonded and insured.