What to do after a fire

There are few things in this life as physically and emotionally devastating to a family or business as a fire. Knowing what to do after a fire can help reduce the damage and increase the chances of a successful restoration.

It is important to understand that even though the fire is out, there are still health and safety risks. Dirty water and soot may contain contaminants and chemicals that can make you sick. Trying to clean up the damage yourself may make things worse and cost you more in the long run.

These tips will assist you in taking the proper action to reduce damage and increase the chances of a successful restoration.

  • Never enter a damaged building unless the fire department says that it is safe to go in. Understand that if the building has been severely damaged you might not be permitted to enter at all.
  • Call your insurance company or agent as soon as possible. They can make recommendations about who to call to address the immediate needs of your home such as pumping out water or boarding up doors and windows.
  • Contact your local disaster relief service, such as the Red Cross. They will help you find a place to stay, food, medicines and other important things.
  • Call family members to assure them that you are ok and, if needed, where you will be staying while your residence is uninhabitable.
  • If your home is uninhabitable, contact the local police department to let them know that the site will be vacant.
  • The fire department will confirm that the utilities are safe to use and if not, will shut them off before they leave. Do not try to turn them back on yourself.
  • Don’t try to remove soot from walls or painted surfaces. Don’t shampoo carpets or upholstered furniture or dry clean garments. Improper cleaning may set in the smoke odor forcing you to discard the items.
  • Discard all food and beverages that may have been close to the fire, heat or water. If they are contaminated consuming them will make you sick.
  • Never assume that a clean up company was sent by the insurance company and don’t sign anything with out speaking with your insurance agent.

SERVPRO of Kennett Square/Oxford is a family owned franchise that specializes in cleanup and restoration from fire and water damage making it “Like it never even happened.” Our track record of results has earned us the trust of the insurance industry, countless homeowners, the Red Cross, and in one unforgettable instance, even the Pentagon.

Vanessa Ross, Marketing Manager

SERVPRO of Kennett Square/Oxford



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