With more than 350,000 home fires occurring each year, fire damage represents billions of dollars in losses and repairs annually. The average home insurance policy claim for a fire is nearly $80,000. Almost half of all home fires begin in the kitchen—the heart of our common living spaces.
We may think that we’d be able to prevent a fire or put one out before it’s able to do much damage. The truth, however, is that once something ignites in a home, it initiates a synergistic process that builds and becomes increasingly difficult to stop.
Fire Damage Happens Quickly
A This Old House article titled “How a Home Fire Spreads” highlights just how rapidly a simple cooking fire can escalate and how intensive the damage can be. In short, a fire can reach 1,100 degrees in as little as three to five minutes.
What To Do After a Home Fire
Depending on the extent of the fire, you may not be able to live in your home. Smoke damage and chemical residue alone may prevent it. In fact, you’ll probably need permission from the fire marshal before you can even enter your home. The U.S. Fire Administration recommends these steps to take following a home fire.
- Contact your insurance company immediately. They have protocols in place on how to proceed.
- Ask your utility providers to ensure utility hookups are either safe or disconnected.
- Reach out to your mortgage lender.
- Check with your local disaster relief organization—the Red Cross, for example—for assistance.
- Work with your fire department and building authorities regarding damage and safety levels.
- Document all damages and losses.
- Save all receipts for any expenses related to the fire.
- Keep a list of all the organizations you’ve contacted and be sure to include the name and contact information of each of the people you communicate with.
- Hire a trustworthy construction company experienced in fire damage restoration.
While we listed it last, the company you select to help you rebuild your home after a fire may be one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make. You want someone experienced, qualified, and familiar with working alongside insurance companies. At Roberts Restorations, we do it all. More, we care. Recovering after a fire is a challenge even under the best of circumstances. We want to be able to give you back the home you lost—maybe one that’s even better