Rehabilitating Yourself and Your Property After A House Fire

Many articles about fire safety precautions discuss what one should and should not do in case of fire. Sometimes, they even give advice on ways to prevent a fire from occurring in the first place. What these articles often forget about is the aftermath – how should you proceed after a fire.

A house fire can be caused a lot of things. It could result from irresponsible disposal of cigarette butts or could be blamed on faulty electrical wirings. It could also be caused by appliances overheating. Sometimes, forgetting to put out the lighted candles can be the reason. There are times as well when children playing with matchsticks unsupervised starts the fire at home. No matter the cause, the result could be fatal. It is good if firemen are able to stop it in time. But even then, the fire may have already caused severe destruction that is irreversible. This is why, in every case of fire, homeowners are not being permitted inside the property even if the house is not totaled.

We have included in this article several things you should know after being a victim of a house fire.

1. Never go back to the house

Whether or not your property is not burned to the ground, it is never advisable for you to go back and explore what is salvageable without the go signal of the authorities. Sometimes, even if your house looks okay, the fire may have weakened its foundation that may result for it to collapse later on. You are lucky if it does when you are not inside, but if you are, it may cause serious injuries if not death.

Another thing is that there may be remnants of chemicals there that may be harmful to your lungs. This may cause suffocation on your part.

2. Do not overlook the safety and security of your family

You may be stressed over the situation, but it is mandatory not to neglect the safety of your family. Especially if you have small children in tow, it is mandatory to see to their well-being. Check for obvious signs of injuries such as a burn on their skin. Bring them to the hospital for a check-up. If needed, address the trauma they may have suffered in. Disasters like this can be traumatic for young kids.

3. Find a temporary place to sleep in

Even if the fire is put out early, it is still most likely to be subjected to inspection to ensure that everything is intact and safe for you and your family. Relocate temporarily until all these are covered. If you have your insurance, then it is possible that temporary lodging is included in your benefits. Take advantage of it and take the time to regroup your thought so you can take the next steps in rehabilitating your home with a clear head.

4. Contact your insurance company

It is important to make an immediate claim after – a house fire. Not only would this ensure your finances and basic needs are covered daily, they will help you also rehabilitate your home. Most of the time they give assistance on cleaning and restoration of your property. Other times, they give you options on how

to move forward. Such assistance is crucial especially if you are not able to save anything from your home.

5. Acceptance

This may probably the hardest but the most important part after being subjected to such a disaster. You should accept what you cannot change. This is the only way you can put yourself together and climb out of it all. You should know when to start looking for motivated house sellers to help you with the process.

Most Common Causes of House Fires

When your house is fire, people say it is more unacceptable than your house being robbed. Given this, you have to remember the things that may cause fire if you don’t want to experience its aftermath. The first step is making sure everything in your house is in good working order whether that is getting your Macomb stove serviced, or your Seattle water heater looked at, or make an appointment for the best Tulsa garage door repair to get done.

Cooking Equipment

When a pot or pan overheats or splatters greases, it can take seconds to cause a fire. Stay in the kitchen when cooking, especially if using oil or high temperatures; most kitchen fires occur because people get distracted and leave their cooking unattended. Keep combustibles (e.g. oven mitts, dish towels, paper towels) away from heat sources.

Heating Equipment

Have your furnace inspected annually by a qualified technician, and your chimney cleaned and inspected annually. Keep portable heaters at least one meter away from anything that can burn (including curtains, furniture, and you), and don’t use your heaters to dry shoes or clothes. Install a carbon monoxide alarm to alert you to deadly carbon monoxide gas.

Careless Smoking

Make the bedroom off-limits to smoking, and supervise smokers who may become drowsy (i.e. on medication, drinking) or forget to extinguish their cigarette. Use large, deep ashtrays; never place an ashtray on or near anything that will burn; and check furniture for fallen cigarettes/embers (a butt can smoulder for hours before causing furniture to burst into flames).

Electrical Equipment

Ensure the following:

  • Your electrical appliances don’t have loose or frayed cords/plugs
  • Your outlets aren’t overloaded with plugs
  • You’re not running electrical wires under rugs or heavy furniture
  • You’re not overusing an extension cord.
  • Be careful about do-it-yourself electrical projects; many home fires are caused by improper installation, so use a licensed electrician.

Candles

Keep candles in a sturdy holder on a level surface, away from combustible materials and out of the reach of children or pets. Blow them out before leaving the room.

What to Do if a Fire Occurs at Your Workplace?

All businesses need to have a fire emergency plan. Nobody wants to be left manically searching the Internet for advice on how to evacuate a building when a blaze is discovered, or scrambling around trying to find the best escape routes. It’s best to have processes in place in case a fire breaks out. A well-rehearsed fire emergency plan could save lives.

Raise the Alarm

Your building’s fire alarm system should be activated as soon as a blaze is discovered if it hasn’t been triggered automatically. If your company has designated and trained staff members to be fire marshals, they should call the emergency services immediately and prepare to coordinate your firm’s emergency action plan.

Evacuate

All employees should be told to stop what they’re doing and leave your building calmly and quickly as soon as your fire alarm has sounded. They should leave immediately without collecting personal effects. Staff members should use a predetermined escape route that allows enough space for all employees to safely make their way to a meeting point well away from your building. Never use elevators if you suspect a fire has started in your office. Make sure any disabled colleagues are able to get out safely. If your escape route has been blocked by fire, shut all doors and windows in the room you’re in to prevent flames and smoke from coming back in from the outside. Wait for the emergency services to arrive

Head Count

Once all workers have gathered at your meeting point, your company’s fire marshals should conduct a head count to make sure all employees who were in your building have made it out safely. Do not re-enter your building if anybody is unaccounted for. Inform the emergency services that somebody could still be inside when they arrive if people are missing. All employees should remain at your meeting point until further notice.

Considerations

Fire marshals who’ve received training in how to respond to a blaze, and have access to safety equipment and fire extinguishers, should be permitted to stay behind to put a manageable fire out and shut down any utility supplies or computer systems. Once fully evacuated, you should not allow any of your workers to return to your building until it has been declared safe by the emergency service personnel. You should hold regular fire drills to familiarize your staff with your emergency action plan. Do this monthly to ensure the plan stays fresh in everyone’s mind.