Unfortunately, even when every safety and prevention rule is followed, fires will still happen. You can greatly reduce the risk of a fire by following prevention and safety tips, but you cannot eliminate it. If you and your family ever become a victim of a fire, what is next? Where do you turn? What do you do?
Recovering from a fire can be a physically and mentally draining process. When fire strikes, lives are suddenly turned around. Often, the hardest part is knowing where to begin and who to contact. The U.S. Fire Administration has gathered the following information to assist you in this time of need. Action on some of the suggestions will need to be taken immediately. Some actions may be needed in the future while others will be on going. The purpose of this information is to give you the assistance needed to assist you as you begin rebuilding your life.
Contact your insurance company or agent right away.Ask your agent:
Do not enter a damaged home or apartment unless the fire department says it is safe to go in!
Fires can start again even if they appear to be out.
Cleaning and restoring personal items.
There are companies that are experts in cleaning and/or restoring your personal items. Whether you or your insurer buys this type of service, be clear on who will pay for it. Be sure to ask for an estimate of cost for the work and agree to it in writing. Ask your insurance company for names of companies you can trust to do a good job at a fair price. These companies provide services that include some or all of the following:
Organizing finances and replacing vital documents.
After a Home Fire Checklist (print friendly version contained in booklet)
Frequently asked questions about fire department actions