Experiencing a fire is very traumatic, both physically and emotionally. The hardest part is knowing you have lost what you held dear and not knowing where to turn or what to do. Firefighters would be pushed to cut through walls or knock down doors to gain entry and contain the fire. Afterwards, you are left with a shell of a once habitable place. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to return back to normal.
1. Use Caution getting back inside
After a fire has been put out and the scene deemed fit to get back inside, be careful, the smoke and water or other chemicals used to turn out the fire might be a health risk, not to mention the structure might be compromised. If it is necessary for you to go back in, enlist the help of the firefighters.
2. Take care of yourself, family and belongings
Get in touch with your family members and or relief organizations in case your home was affected. Ensure that your family members have a roof over their head. As for the belongings that were salvaged, ensure that they are stored safely. If it is an office, store your belongings at home or a go down. If family members and pets were present during the ordeal, always try to find a way to comfort them.
3. Get in touch with your insurance agent/company
Contact your insurance company or agent immediately. Let them know of the situation and they can advise accordingly. Some companies will send their agent to the scene. Others would like you to give a list of all the damaged assets and or lives.
It may seem too early to start thinking about compensation. In case you do not have insurance, it will still be to your advantage to have everything listed out for count purposes and get to know what you have lost and what was saved.
4. Financial standing
If you were paying mortgage, it is advisable to get in touch with the company and inform them immediately of the situation. Report your debit or credit cards destroyed to the relevant companies and have them start processing for replacements. While using cash or any other means of purchase, save the documents for latter. This comes in handy when doing your calculations on expenditure and other expenses.
5. How to handle the damage
Depending on the damage sustained, you may choose to repair your home or office and continue living or doing business in it, or putting it in the market. It is advisable to engage experts to undertake the survey and guide you through the best action. There are professional companies that handle such situations. They are able to assess the premises and repair it accordingly. This might mean smoke damage restoration or total overhaul of the premises.