Securing Your Home Following Fire Damage
Once you have eliminated any fire related dangers in your home, you need to take steps towards protecting and securing your property, including your personal belongings, from even further fire damage.
Ventilation is important after fire damage, but having a secure property is more important. To prevent looting and vandalism, lockup and secure your property when it is unoccupied. Contact a company to board up any windows or doors if necessary. If the electricity or telephone services have been interrupted, keep in mind that your security alarms may not work properly. Notify the police immediately if anything has been vandalized. In order to file an insurance claim, you will need a police report.
In situations where your property has only been partially damaged, you may be able to go inside to secure it on your own. If possible, and not too hazardous to do so, you will want to secure your property to prevent burglary and theft of your belongings.
You can also hire a board up company to secure broken windows, doors, and other openings. Make sure that all hazardous areas have been taken care of and have the company cover damaged walls and the roof with plywood.
Once the structure has been secured, try to salvage any belongings that you can by relocating them in a ventilated part of the property. If you feel unsafe doing this by yourself, seek help from a professional.
In the case that your home is too damaged to be secured against theft, remove your valuables to a trusted location such as a friend's house, or a storage unit where they can be set-aside during restoration.
Some valuables that you may need to set aside are personal files, money, credit cards, checkbooks, jewelry, and sentimental items like photographs and letters. For protection of larger items such as furniture and other appliances, you may want to consider a partial or complete move out of your home. Getting Reimbursed Regardless of whether you secure your property or temporarily evacuate it, the costs incurred are usually covered by most homeowner or business insurance policies. Review your property coverage with your insurance agent.
- Leo Nov is an editorial staff member of RestorationSOS®, to learn more about Fire Damage and Fire Damage Cleanup visit RestorationSOS.com or call 1-877-767-2407.
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