You take precautions. You have a safety plan in place. No matter how much you prepare, a house fire can still catch you off guard.

Everyday things like cooking or smoking are the leading causes of homes going up in flames. House fires can happen quickly, usually taking only 30 seconds to go from manageable to dangerous.

Regardless of how it happens, the most important thing is that you and your loved ones remain safe. Once you and your family are alright and the fire is put out, it’s time to deal with the damages.

Not sure what to do after a fire? Read these five tips to be prepared and take control.

1. File Your Claim Right Away

Obviously the safety of your family is your biggest priority. Once you take care of that, you need to immediately call your insurance agent.

Your insurance agent will understand which steps you need to take next. Everything from documenting the damage to even covering funds for daily expenses.

2. Find Temporary Shelter

Even after a small house fire, there could be unseen structural damage. Don’t assume that your house is safe to stay in until it’s been inspected.

Call your friends and family to see if they can put you up for a while. Your insurance agent might be able to help you find temporary shelter in a hotel or somewhere similar.

Getting a roof over your head before tackling anything else will help ease your anxiety and help you navigate your next steps.

3. Safeguard Your House

When a house has been damaged by fire, looters and squatters take notice. It’s important to safeguard your house while you’re away.

Call the police and let them know about your situation. They might be able to keep an eye on the property. You can even board up your windows yourself or call a company to handle it for you.

4. Take Note Of Your Valuables

Once your house is deemed safe to go back into, gather your important documents and possessions. Move undamaged valuables to a safe location or lock them up in storage.

If your property has been damaged, you need to document the destruction. In a house fire aftermath, you might have trouble finding your receipts to prove their worth. You can always ask for statements from your bank to give you a proof of purchase.

5. Clean Up And Reconstruction

Before you attempt any restoration on your house, get a professional to assess the damage.

If your house was only damaged, you can get away with just a clean up. Soot, water, and charring can be handled by yourself if it’s minimal enough or a cleaning service.

More extensive damage will require professional help. Don’t attempt anything dangerous by yourself.

What To Do After A Fire And Beyond

Now that you know what to do after a fire, you can be prepared just in case it ever happens to you. Hopefully, you’ll never have to deal with a house fire, but it’s always good to understand your options.

If you need help navigating a house fire aftermath, contact us today!