A fire in your home is incredibly devastating. Even if the fire is controlled early on, there are so many different ways that damage can be caused. Fire damage can be a result of actual flames, heat from flames, or there can be residual damage from smoke. Likewise, water used to stop the flames can lead to warping, mold growth, and structural damage. Water can also ruin most material possessions it touches. Soot and ashes are incredibly dirty, and if not carefully handled, they can become deeply ingrained in furniture, drywall, clothing, etc.
Because fire damage is so extensive, here is a list of basic tips for handling it before professionals arrive.
- If the fire department had to be involved, obtain a copy of their report of the incident.
- Document the damage by writing out a list and taking pictures to send with your insurance claim.
- Avoid cleaning up ashes and soot on your own, especially on walls and furniture.
- Change the filter in your air conditioning and heating unit.
- Cover the surfaces of furniture and carpet with bed sheets to protect them from further damage.
Fire damage needs to be handled professionally. There are very specific methods and materials for properly cleaning up after a fire, and you want to make sure you don’t complicate that process. You’ll need to get clearance from the fire department before entering your home. If the fire damage is too extensive, it may be unsafe to even go inside. The safety of you, your family, and any pets is more important than anything else.