House fire – only the thought of it gives you chills. No one would ever want to experience such a catastrophic event. Unfortunately, they can happen, causing significant damage to properties. And they also impact your mental health.
This experience can be very traumatic, and it’s totally normal to feel overwhelmed by anxiety, uncertainty and stress. Things may be challenging for a while after your house has caught on fire. You may feel confused and not know what steps to take next.
Thus, we created a guide to help you navigate this devastating event in your life. In this article, you’ll learn what to do if your house has caught on fire and how to restore your home and get your life back on track as soon as possible.
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After your house has caught fire, the most evident thing you should do is get emergency help. Nowadays, fires burn more quickly than they did two decades ago because household products include more synthetic materials. This means you should get out of the home immediately and call 911.
As soon as the firefighters get to your home, they will first focus on everyone’s safety, ensuring they are out of danger. Only afterwards they’ll do whatever they can to save the house.
Once you’re out of danger, you’ll slowly realize what has happened to you. A house fire is one of the most devastating things that can happen to you, so feeling anxious and overwhelmed is perfectly normal. Breathe deeply and allow yourself to process your loss. It’s okay to grieve after going through such an experience.
Things may seem horrible right now, but these challenging times will pass – even if it doesn’t feel like it. While this may be one of the toughest days of your life, things will return to normal at some point. Sure, you’ll deal with many difficult emotions, but they won’t be there forever. Healing after this traumatic experience will take time, so remember to be kind to yourself during the process.
Contact your insurance company
Once the fire is put out, you should call your insurance company and inform them of your loss. Ask them what you should do next. While some damage to your house is a consequence of the fire, others may occur while firefighters extinguish the fire. They have to stop the fire from growing, so firefighters may cut holes in walls or the roof to allow for ventilation in the house. Plus, the holes also enable dark smoke to exit the space, so they can easily see what’s going on.
Obviously, this will cause damage to your property. Diminishing some of this damage may be possible, depending on factors like the nature of the fire and how expanded the damage is. An insurance agent can guide you through the process and help you take the next critical steps, including filing a claim, restoring your property and replacing your belongings. However, before moving to the restoration process, your insurance agent should help you reduce water damage and lessen security concerns.
Look for a place to stay
Regardless of the damage extent, you’ll need a place to stay for a few days. Even if the fire was small, an inspection is still required, and the property has to be assiduously cleaned of ash, smoke and burned materials before you can return home safely. Also, many unseen chemicals can pose a threat to your health.
Depending on the situation, restoration may extend for several months. And if the fire has caused significant damage, you’ll have to find a place where you can stay for a longer time. But at the moment, you should focus on finding a place to sleep for some days while safety concerns are reduced, and the damage is assessed. It’s critical to get enough rest during these challenging times, and finding a safe place can help you physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Contact restoration specialists
A restoration company can help you address urgent issues such as water damage. A specialist will secure windows, doors and other openings to reduce further damage.
Whenever the case, they will also pump out water to decrease mold infestation, water damage, and so on. Restoration companies can improve your home’s ventilation, which is critical after a fire. Fire Damage Restoration experts can assess your property, remove all the damaged materials and restore your home successfully. A restoration company’s actions are critical in preventing and mitigating further damage to your home. Restoration specialists will bring your home back to normal using specialized equipment, sensitive filters, and alkaline cleaning agents.
Keep track of the process
The aftermath of a house fire is complex, and there will likely be many things to keep track of. Our advice is to write everything down in a notebook to have all the information in one place. Keep a record of the conversations with your insurance agent and restoration specialist. This will help you remember critical details and solve misunderstandings, if there are any.
Also, you should make a list of everything you lost in the fire or was removed for disposal or cleaning. There surely is a lot to remember, and recording every detail will help you ensure your insurance claim is precise.
Take care of your mental health
Undoubtedly, a house fire will strongly impact your mental health. And that is only natural, as something very frightening has happened to you. After the fire, you and your family will likely have a hard time trying to understand the devastating event that has occurred.
During this time, it’s of the utmost importance to take care of your mental health. You may experience significant emotional distress, so it’s essential to know how to cope with these difficult emotions. Here are some suggestions:
- Don’t isolate yourself;
- Exercise regularly;
- Have a well-balanced diet;
- Get enough rest;
- Try relaxation techniques, like deep breathing or meditation;
- Seek support from family and friends
- Hold off significant life changes, like switching jobs;
- Get professional help.