A fire can ravage your life. It can destroy your home, invaluable family heirlooms, and precious photo albums and documents. It can hit anybody, anywhere, at any time. And while a fire can be a tragedy, it doesn´t have to be an unmitigated disaster. Here are the first three steps you´ll need to take after incurring property damage from a fire to reduce your costs and make your recovery just a little bit easier.
1. Get Help
Recovering from a fire can be overwhelming and scary, but you don´t have to do it alone. Your local Red Cross can help you find temporary housing and supply you with necessary basics like food, blankets, clothes, and medicine. Feel free to lean on friends, family, and other support networks available to you. Those closest to you can assist with contacting important parties, including the post office, your employer, utility companies, and any delivery services you may subscribe to. Sharing the burden can make recovery less stressful.
2. Talk to Your Insurance Provider
Your next step should be to contact your insurance provider, who should send a representative to evaluate your claim immediately. The insurance provider can suggest steps you can take to minimize the damage to your property. Such steps might include covering doors, windows, and other openings; pumping out water; putting up a temporary fence to prevent vandalism and theft; or hiring a professional home inspector to assess the structural damage. Your insurance company will lay out what you need to do to begin a property damage claim.
3. Assess the Damage
Finally, once the fire department has deemed it safe, re-enter your home to start the process of property damage assessment. This step involves taking inventory of your losses in order to begin the valuation process, which will help you minimize the financial impact of the fire.
Consider three main concepts when working through your assessment phase. The first is personal value. While putting a price on sentiment may be difficult, it is a necessary part of the valuation process, and can be especially important for items that might not have been worth a large amount of money. The second is cost when purchased; in other words, how much you originally paid for an item you wish to claim. The third concept is fair market value, which expresses how much a damaged item would have been worth if you had sold it at average market price right before the fire, taking devaluation into account.
While it may seem impossible to recover after a fire, there are concrete steps you can take in order to mitigate the property damage and emotional toll of such a disaster. If you find yourself in need of fire damage restoration services, callVital Restoration for a free estimate.