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What Do You Do After a House Fire?

The aftermath of such a tragedy is a hard pill to swallow, and taking the following steps are crucial to take after a home fire.

These tips should help you get back on your Feet:

Find a safe place to stay

Regardless of the damage, the likelihood of being able to stay in your house is slim. If family or friends are unavailable talk to your local disaster relief agency, such as the American Red Cross or Salvation Army. These organizations will help you find a safe place to stay temporarily. Most insurance policies will cover the cost of a hotel stay until long term arrangements can be made.

Contact your insurance agent

You’ll need to start a claim and address your immediate needs. If you have an insurance agent they can get in contact with your insurance carrier. If you don’t know who your agent is or don’t have one, every insurance carrier has a process to report a claim. “Loss of use” funds from your insurance policy may cover living and other daily expenses. If you receive these funds or an advance on your claim, save all receipts and keep a detailed record of all purchases. 

Protect Your Home

Even though your home is damaged, and you may not be able to stay there, as the owner, you still need to protect it as much as possible from both weather and unlawful entry. You will need to board up or cover broken windows or holes cut in the roof caused by fire damage or from the fire department.

Recover your possessions

Do not re-enter your home until the fire department says it is safe to do so. While the initial reaction after a fire is to take all your possession out of the home, there are only a few things that need to come out immediately. This includes personal documents, valuable jewelry, weapons and ammunition, medications, and currency. Soot and smoke from the fire can damage your possessions permanently if they are not handled and cleaned by a trained professional. Items that may appear “clean” can smell like smoke and can contaminate areas if brought to another location without being professionally cleaned.

Take care of your pets

If you have pets, find and comfort them. After a fire and all the commotion your pets will be extremely stressed, they will either be hiding somewhere in the home or even run away due to the trauma. 

Once you find your pets take them to the veterinarian to be checked. Pets that have been in a house fire can be injured from ingesting smoke just like humans.

Contact a Restoration Company

Your insurance company will most likely suggest or recommend a restoration company to help deal with immediate concerns like water damage, protecting your home, and savable content. As the homeowner you have the final say on who to use. Calling a reputable company with years of experience can make all the difference in how the restoration process moves forward. Fire damage clean up and reconstruction is a very specialized service that requires experience and years of industry knowledge.

Take Photos and Keep A Notebook

There will be a lot of information given to you in a short amount of time during a very stressful situation. It will be helpful to keep a record of any conversations you have with your insurance company and restoration contractor. This can help you remember the things you need to follow up on or provide to them. Take pictures and make a list of everything that was lost in the fire. While this can feel impossible and overwhelming, it is important to simply start. We find it is easiest if you just start a list and every time you think of something, write it down.

These are just a few tips to start you in the process after a house fire. JP Maguire has been helping families recover from a fire and return home for 40 years. As scary and uncertain as a house fire can feel, you can be assured that we can guide you through the entire process. For more information about the service we offer please visit our Fire Damage Restoration Page.

For more information and more helpful blog topics, visit our blog here: Blog – JP Maguire & Associates

We hope you stay safe! JP Maguire and Associates is celebrating 40 years of serving the community.

To learn more about our services, Contact JP Maguire Associates Today!

Is Your Family Prepared for a House Fire?

Did you know there is a house fire every 87 seconds? From 2017 to 2019, an estimated average of 230,500, one or two family residential building fires were reported to fire departments in the United States. JP Maguire prides itself on over 40 years of serving the community, so here are some guidelines and preventative measures to prevent your house from becoming a statistic:

Test your smoke alarms:

Keep your family safe and make sure to test your fire alarms every 6 months. Almost three out of five home fire deaths causation by fires in properties with no smoke alarms (41%) or smoke alarms that failed to operate (16%). Smoke alarms should be installed in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of the home (including the basement). For the best protection, make sure they are all interconnected.

Identify your homes fire hazards:

You can’t avoid the oven. Reevaluating or relocating, and even removing fire hazards is a great start. For example, did you know glass décor displayed near a window can soak up the sun and magnify its heat onto a nearby carpet or curtain? Make sure to ensure there are no fire hazards near your oven such as fabrics, paper, or any loose, flammable objects.

Understand your home electrical system:

We all know that electricity makes our life easier but only if used correctly. If you’re looking to buy and or remodel your home, it is crucial to have the electrical work inspected by a professional. After being taken care of, look out for exposed and or frayed cords. Also, if you ever have a frequent problem with your circuit breaker, a tingling feeling when you touch an appliance discolored or warm wall outlets, flickering or dimming lights or sparks from an outlet, call an electrician immediately.

Inspect your Heat Sources

It is essential every year to have a professional service your furnace. The professional will identify if it is not working correctly, preventing a fire. Are you using a space heater to create even more warmth? Keep it away from items that could easily catch fire, like curtains and any furniture. Have your chimney inspected annually by a certified chimney sweep if you have a wood-burning fireplace.

Prevent Kitchen Catastrophes:

Keep up with your kitchen cleaning! Clean up crumbs out of the toaster and unplug appliances when not in use. These are small but incredibly effective ways of preventing any fire from occurring.

Safely store combustible materials including flammable products, which should always be kept away from heat. Coordinate a cool, dark cupboard or storage space for hairspray, cleaning supplies. Additionally, gasoline, kerosene, and propane should be kept outside the original containers.

Practice candle safety:

The national fire protection association reports an average of 21 home fires caused by candles every day. Another study found that 85% of candle fires can be preventable.

By taking precautions to prevent a house fire sometimes still happens. To make sure your family is prepared, learn the ins and outs of fire extinguishers you should have and keep them how to use them often to replace them.

For more information and more helpful blog topics, visit our blog here: Blog – JP Maguire & Associates

We hope you stay safe! JP Maguire and Associates is celebrating 40 years of serving the community.

To learn more about our services, email us
or call us today at