When a fire happens it is understandably devastating, and the damage is often unfortunately irreversible in some areas. However, there are certain things that everyone should do if they find themselves face to face with the consequences of a property harmed by flames. Recovery is the only way forward so here are six pieces of essential admin to carry out.
Find Temporary Accommodations
When the fire first happens, people tend to be in shock. While some respond well, others are prone to freezing and a complete cognitive shutdown which makes decision making somewhat impossible. However, the first step when the initial shock wears off is to find somewhere to stay temporarily. Even the smallest fires need to have an assessment before you can return to the property so you may be displaced for a few days or a few months depending on how far the damage extends. Temporary accommodation options are hotels, shelters, or staying with friends and family.
Assess the Damage
When everyone in the house is safe and re-homed, the next step is to get the damage report. This action needs to be put into place as soon as possible given the circumstances; the faster it can get started, the more you might be able to salvage. The emergency services may carry out a preliminary assessment to highlight any major structural damage. However, this might not catch everything and that is why there are private companies that do more, like NCRI fire damage restoration services which do the repair work as well as an in-depth analysis of the property.
Phone Your Insurance Company
When you have pictures of the property, and a report from an expert, it is time to phone the insurance company. Starting a claim is straightforward and the insurance company will tell you what the next steps are as per their company policy. If you don’t have home insurance, don’t panic. There are lots of shelters and charities set up for this purpose that may have grants or items to offer.
The next step is to let the local law enforcement know that there is a house sitting empty until it is restored. If they know, they can keep watch sporadically over the property and respond more rapidly to any reports in the area of suspected break-ins or vandalism. This is sadly a common occurrence, so taking preventative methods is sensible. You will also have to let your workplace know, and school for any children that live at home too.
When the immediate aftermath has been taken care of, the emotional toll may truly set in. The shock alone can cause anxiety ripples that last for a long time and the trauma triggers are a very real thing. This can cause long-lasting mental harm, which needs addressing. Find a local counseling service and avoid isolating yourself from the experience.
It will take a long time to fully re-establish trust and a sense of security after a fire damages your home. However, taking care of the essential steps in the interim is a step toward recovery.