After a House Fire Waiting for the Restoration Company
Things to Do After a House Fire While Waiting for a Cleanup Company
A fire in your home, even if it is a small fire, can create a lot of problems that you need to deal with. While the majority of the cleanup is often contracted to a clearing and restoration service, you can do some things while waiting for the restoration company to start your cleanup.
Limit Traffic in the Home
Once the fire department releases the home to you, keep the number of people walking through the house to a minimum. Things like soot and other debris can quickly grind into carpets and upholstered items, and it will be much harder for the restoration company to remove from the fabric.
If you do need to move around in the house, lay down some plastic runners in the traffic areas, and try to keep everyone out that does not need to be in the building. People often want to see the aftermath of the fire, but if they don't need to be in the house, they just add to the potential problems and could be a safety concern.
Cover Your Furnishings
If the furnishings in your home are still relatively clean after the fire, put some plastic over them to keep dirt, soot, and ash off the upholstery. The upholstery may smell like smoke or other odors from the fire, but if the fabric is still clean, dealing with furnishing restoration is much easier.
Clean Out the Fridge and Freezer
The electricity to your home is often shut off during fire suppression efforts, and if you can’t move back into the home for a while, take the time to clean out the refrigerator and the freezer so that the food does not spoil and ruin the appliances. Once all the food is out, prop the door open on both the fridge and the freezer to keep them from getting musty or growing mold inside.
Unplug Appliances and Electronics
If appliances or electronics are in the house that may turn on when the power comes on, unplug them from the outlets. If the items do not appear to have damage on them, they could have water damage inside or a short that you can’t see.
Something as simple as a wire with the insulation melted off could create a spark and start another fire when the power comes on. Unplugging the attached electronic or appliance is the safest way to isolate it and make sure everything is in working order.
Retrieve Your Important Documents
If you have documents in your home that are important like birth certificates, death certificates, your marriage license, or important insurance documents, retrieve them from the home as soon as possible. The longer these documents stay in the home, the more likely they are to sustain damage, and some of the documents will be hard to replace.
Locate the documents and put them in something secure to protect them. Move them to a safe deposit box, or invest in a lockbox to keep with you until you are able to return to your house. If you decide to keep the documents with you, make sure the lockbox is fire-, water-, and tamper-proof so that you don't risk losing these documents again.
At SERVPRO of Marlton/Morningside, we specialize in cleaning up after a fire in your house. We have the experience, tools, and manpower to help you pick up the pieces after a fire of any size. Give us a call and we will assess the damage to your home, let you know what it will take to clean it up, and get started right away so we can get you back in your house.