Do’s And Don’ts Of Fire Damage Cleanup
Few nightmares compare with the horror that a house fire or building fire inflicts upon its owners. The loss and damage that follow a fire are devastating. When the smoke clears, you are left with the overwhelming task of restoring your life and belongings. This can seem daunting, and it is hard to know where to start. ICC Restoration and Cleaning Services has restored over 10,000 properties in the Rochester area since 1989 and has compiled a list of some DOs and DON’Ts to help you through the process of fire damage restoration.
DO have a disaster plan in place. Designate an escape route from each room, and establish a safe meeting place outside the home or building. Preparation and planning are critical in getting everyone out of a burning building safely. Review your plan periodically, and make sure everyone is familiar with it.
DON’T enter the building until a professional has told you it is safe to do so. Even if the fire appears to be out, the structure could be compromised or gas leaks can be present. Properly trained authorities will determine if and when it is safe to enter your home or building. Until then, sit tight and stay out.
DO call the right people. After alerting emergency response teams, your first call should be to family members and loved ones to let them know you are safe. Then your next call should be to a qualified restoration company. Professionals have emergency service lines and are ready to take immediate action upon receiving your call. You will also need to call your insurance agent so that they can file a claim as soon as possible. Your restoration team can then work with your insurance company to get the restoration process going.
DON’T turn on any electrical devices or utilities. In many cases, firefighters will turn off your utilities to decrease the risk of further damage. Before turning anything back on, have a professional inspect your home to be sure that there are no gas leaks, fire risks, water damage, etc.
Do take pictures of the damage, and any damaged belongings. Pictures will help show proof of damage when filing claims to your insurance. Make a list of any and all items that were damaged in the fire. You should also take notes and keep records of any correspondence you have with your insurance company and restoration team. Professionals offer comprehensive documentation and on-going communication to provide a permanent record of what steps are being taken to restore your loss. This will help you feel more organized during a chaotic time.
DON’T try to clean, wipe, or remove any residue from your home on your own or before it has been assessed by your insurance agent. You do not want to tamper with any damage before it has been documented. Clean up after fire damage is tricky, and if done incorrectly, can have serious health risks. Let trained professionals who know how to clean up and repair your home and items after a fire deal with that. With a professional fire damage restoration service, properties are completely restored to pre-loss condition with stubborn smoke odors and residues completely remediated.
DO take the necessary steps to keep your home or building safe while the restoration process is taking place. Contact your local police to inform them that your home will be empty, and make sure that it is as secure as possible. ICC offers initial board up so you can have peace of mind that your property is protected from further damage and exposure from the elements. Once it is safe to re-enter, remove any items that were not damaged by the fire. ICC has expert content management with complete inventory cataloging and storage of personal property in our safe, secure and climate-controlled facility.
Hopefully, this list will help you sleep easier, knowing that you can be ready to respond if a fire damages your property. With proper preparation, planning, and the ICC Restoration and Cleaning Services in Rochester on your side, you and your loved ones will be more adequately equipped to handle the process of fire damage restoration.