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Fire Damage Do's and Don'ts

August 24, 2023
Fire Damage

A house fire is one of the most devastating disasters a homeowner can experience because—in addition to the physical damage, all your possessions can disappear in a moment, leaving emotional scars that take years to heal.

Recovering from fire damage in your home is an overwhelming task, but if you know what to do, what not to do, and when to call for help, it will take a huge burden off your shoulders. It takes careful handling of any damaged possessions and a complete understanding of the do’s and don’ts to ensure your safety, minimize further damage, and facilitate a smooth restoration process.

Read on as we explore the essential fire damage do’s and don’ts as well as valuable guidance on how to begin the journey toward rebuilding.


Fire Damage Do’s

It might seem like you have no control when it comes to recovering from fire damage, but there are a few actions you can and should take as quickly as possible.

DO Put Safety First

Safety is of the utmost importance when it comes to dealing with fire damage.

You should only re-enter your home after you’ve been given clearance from professionals first. Even after the fire has been put out, there can still be structural damage to the dwelling and lingering smoke can cause health problems.

Once you are cleared to enter the property, one of the first things you should do is turn off your heating and cooling system as it could spread smoke, soot, and toxins through the air ducts.

DO Prevent Further Damage

Next, take action to prevent further damage, such as boarding up broken windows, covering exposed areas, and securing the entryways.

If there is soot on your carpets or furniture, you can lay clean towels over them to prevent it from scattering. You can also open doors, windows, and cabinets throughout the home to facilitate clean air ventilation and reduce drying time.

DO Document the Damages

Once your home is safe, the next thing you should do is document all of your damages and contact your insurance about filing a claim. Take photos of all of the affected rooms and belongings, and make a list of all items that were damaged or lost.

When it comes to filing an insurance claim, you’ll need photos and descriptions of everything you’ve lost to ensure you receive appropriate compensation. Be sure to ask your insurance carrier about any specific requirements they have for filing a fire damage claim to avoid having your claim denied for a technicality.

Keep all of your receipts and take notes on all of your correspondence with your insurance company.

You should also locate your important documents like passports, financial records, and valuables to ensure they are safe.

Once you’ve documented the damages, it is time to hire a professional fire restoration company. Fire damage restoration is a major undertaking and professionals have the tools and know-how to get it done efficiently and properly.


Worker removes damaged paint layer from wall and ceiling indoors.

Fire Damage Don’ts

Recovering from fire damage is a long process and there are plenty of things that seem accessible but should really be handled only by professionals. While it may be hard to hear, patience is key when it comes to fire damage recovery.

DON’T Enter Your Home Without Clearance

As mentioned, you should absolutely not re-enter your home until you’ve been cleared by authorities.

Checking the structural integrity of the dwelling and cleaning up potentially hazardous residue can only be handled by professionals because it requires special tools, equipment, and safety gear.

DON’T Try to Do the Cleanup Yourself

When you’ve suffered fire damage, it can be tempting to start the cleanup process yourself once you’re cleared to re-enter your home.

This is a bad idea for multiple reasons.

You don’t want to dispose of anything that you might need for insurance claims, and you also do not want to possibly stir up soot residue by moving objects around.

Cleaning also applies to more than throwing out garbage. It can be tempting to wipe down the walls or countertops, but this isn’t something you need to handle. For one, your insurance adjuster will need to assess all the damage, not partially cleaned up damage, so you might just be hurting your own claim. Another reason is you could be spreading toxins by using the wrong cleaning materials.

DON’T Assume Anything

Smoke is likely lingering in your clothing, furniture, curtains, and carpets, so it’s important not to stand too close to them or handle them before your home has been assessed by professionals, even if they don’t appear damaged.

Even food in your pantry that looks OK could’ve been damaged by severe heat.

DON’T Use Electronics

Do not turn on any electronics—like your TV, washer and dryer, and stove—before your electrical circuits have been inspected.

This also applies to ceiling fans and lights, or any electronics that need to be plugged in.


Family watches house fire

Don’t Go Through Fire Damage Alone

The most important thing to remember when it comes to recovering from fire damage is it is not something you should attempt on your own.

Finding a reputable and dependable fire restoration company is the most important aspect in fire damage recovery. They have specialized knowledge and extensive experience in handling fire damage, which includes specialized equipment and techniques, and they take the proper health and safety considerations.

They also understand the urgency of your situation and are equipped to respond quickly to mitigate any additional damage, which can also help prevent secondary issues like mold growth.

Restoration companies also have relationships with insurance carriers and understand the claims process, so they can assist you in documenting the damage and provide you with an accurate estimate for the rebuilding process.

Finally, professionals can provide you with a comprehensive assessment of visible and hidden damage, and you can rest assured that no stone is left unturned.


Axel Works Helps Florida Recover from Disaster

At Axel Works, we are experts when it comes to home restoration in Orlando.

Our goal is to get your life back on track as soon as possible. That’s why we’ll be at your home within a matter of hours to assess the damage and begin the recovery process.

Our team will complete a full assessment of your property including taking action to prevent further damage and putting up temporary barriers as needed. Being based in Florida, we have a deep understanding of water damage, so our job isn’t completed until we’ve done a full inspection for possible leaks or structural damage.

We also have experience working with insurance companies to ensure your claim is handled properly.

No matter what your disaster restoration needs are, Axel Works is the Orlando restoration company that can get you back on your feet. Contact us as soon as you can, and we’ll work hard to get you back in your home.


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