First and foremost, do not enter your home until you are given explicit permission from the fire department. Even if the cosmetic damage to your home is minimal, essential structures may have been compromised, and fires often re-ignite even after they appear to have been extinguished.
If this is the first resource you are consulting after a fire damaged your home, please contact your insurance company or agent immediately. Your insurance agent can advise you of the most important steps to take in the hours and days after the fire. These steps may include:
- Doing whatever is necessary to minimize damage to your home, including covering windows, doors, and other openings and pumping out water
- Possibly putting up a temporary fence around your property to prevent vandalism and theft
- Being certain not to turn on utilities until the fire department advises you that it is safe to do so
- Making a list of those items damaged by the fire, accompanied by what you paid for those items
- Locating temporary housing, whether you stay with friends or family or find an apartment complex that offers special rates for those displaced by disasters
- Hiring a professional home inspector to assess the structural damage to your home
It is very important to establish with your insurance agent what your policy does and does not cover. Some of the steps listed above can be very expensive; you will want to know whether your insurance company will cover some or all of these costs.
If you own your home (that is, you do not have a mortgage) and you do not have insurance, you are regrettably responsible for all of your costs and losses. Depending on the condition of your home, you may still be able to cover at least some of your expenses by selling your home. Restoration Companies Broward County