A fire in your home or business is a devastating event, whether it’s a small electrical fire or an inferno. Dealing with a fire and its aftermath shouldn’t be done alone, especially when there’s smoke, fire, and water damage on your property. A house fire can cause a lot of hidden damage, not to mention the emotional impact it has on its occupants. Once you’re safe, you can work with your insurance company and ServiceMaster of Baltimore to begin the fire damage restoration process with these 4 steps to do after a fire.
1. Call Your Insurance Company and Property Owner
The first thing you should do after the fire is out and building occupants are safe is to contact your insurance company and/or property owner to inform them of the damage and learn next steps. Most insurance companies will provide step-by-step instructions about what to do first and can inform you of the protections in your policy such as loss of use funds and replacement cost options.
ServiceMaster of Baltimore is an IICRC certified firm and works with all major insurance companies. We work with the insurance company directly so you don’t have to worry about that while you’re recovering from fire damage.
2. Secure Your Home or Business
Once the first responders have left the scene, you’re left with an unsecured and exposed property. To prevent vandalism or burglary, you can place boards over open windows and secure doors that weren’t damaged in the fire. Most exterior doors are fire resistant and will still function. Look for your fireproof safe to retrieve important documents as well.
In some cases, firefighters have to ventilate the building by cutting into the roof. To protect your home or business from weather damage, place tarps on the roof and other exposed areas. ServiceMaster of Baltimore offers temporary board-ups and roof tarping so you don’t have to worry about finding supplies in a crisis.
3. Take A Detailed Inventory of the Damage
Once the fire department has deemed it safe to return to your property, take a detailed inventory of the damage. Start with photos and videos of the damaged area and belongings, but it’s important to survey the entire property. The heat from a fire can melt plastic, damage paint, and if a sprinkler system was deployed, you might find water damage in areas that weren’t affected by flames. There is also usually damage to the electrical wires behind walls.
ServiceMaster of Baltimore offers pack-outs and detailed inventories to help when you’re ready to survey the damage. Assessing an entire property is a big task that you don’t have to tackle alone.
4. Remove Salvageable Items
There are always some items that can be saved from even the most destructive fire, but especially in a small fire. Once you’ve called your insurance company and taken a detailed inventory of your property, organize items into salvageable and unsalvageable piles. This will make it easier for you to determine what needs to be replaced.
We can provide pack-out and storage for you, both on-site in a locker or in our long-term storage facility. We can also properly dispose of unsalvageable items and help you decide what can be safely saved.
Maryland Fire and Smoke Damage Remediation
You don’t have to deal with fire, smoke, and water damage alone. ServiceMaster of Baltimore has become the area’s leading restoration and remediation company to help you return to normal life as quickly as possible. Call us 24/7 at 410-780-1700 and we can mobilize a team to begin restoring your property to its pre-loss condition within hours.