If you've just endured a house fire, you're probably trying to figure out what to do next. A house fire can turn your whole world upside down. Suddenly you're faced with the loss of your home, as well as the loss of personal property, some of which can never be replaced. If you're not sure what you should do, here are three steps that will help get you started:
Contact Your Insurance Company
After a house fire, the first thing you need to do – once you and your family are safe – is to call your insurance company. The sooner you contact them, the sooner they can start helping you:
File a Claim
Once you call your insurance company, they'll initiate a claim for you. This is the paperwork that will ensure you recover financially from your house fire. Through the claim, the insurance company will repair your home, and replace your personal belongings. They'll give you a claim number over the phone, but ask them to send it to you via text message, or email. That will ensure you can locate it once the shock has worn off.
Arrange for Housing
While you're on the phone to the insurance company, they'll assess your housing needs. If need be, they'll arrange for temporary lodging in a nearby hotel until they can arrange for more permanent rental arrangements while you're home is being repaired, or rebuilt.
Do a Walk-Thru
After the fire, you'll need to stay out of your home until the fire department gives you the go-ahead to go back in. It's important that you do an initial walk-thru of the property. This will allow you the opportunity to get a first-hand view of the damage and conduct an initial inventory of your losses. Don't expect to identify all your losses on your first trip through. Later in the process, the insurance company will have you walk through and take a room-by-room inventory of everything you lost.
Contact a Fire Damage Restoration Company
If your home is not a total loss, you'll need to contact a fire damage restoration company. Fire damage restoration companies are experienced in cleaning up after residential fires. They'll be able to get in your home, and start clearing out the debris so they can get it cleaned up, and livable for you again. This is particularly important if your home sustained severe smoke and water damage from the fire. Your restoration company will clear out the smoke and water damage, so you can move home again.
Contact a company like Icon Property for more information and assistance.