What to Do After a House Fire
House fires can be traumatic, and the sudden displacement that comes with them only adds to the stress. Once the fire is put out many people are left wondering what to do next. So here are some tips for what you should do after a house fire.
If 911 hasn’t already been called, once you have gotten a safe distance from the house call 911 immediately. Do this using your cell phone, or if it was left in the house, knock on your nearest neighbour’s door and use their phone.
Make Sure All Family Members are Accounted For
Get a safe distance away from the house and do a headcount to ensure everyone from your family is accounted for and has made it out of the house. If not, notify the first responders of anyone missing.
Seek Medical Attention and Contact Your Family
Seek medical attention for any injuries you or your family might have sustained. Make sure to look for any visible injuries, as adrenaline might mask the pain. Once you and your family have been checked for injuries, take the time to call any family members that were not with you when the fire occurred to tell them what happened and how you are doing.
Contact Your Insurance Broker
After ensuring everyone in your family has been taken care of, contact your insurance broker. If you are unable to do this due to injuries or trauma, have a family member or friend make the call on your behalf. Your insurance broker will want to know about the degree of damage to your home, the cause of the fire, if there are any ongoing police investigations, and if you sustained any injuries.
Contacting your insurance broker immediately after a house fire helps to provide accurate documentation of the event and will get the claims process started quickly. It also allows your insurance broker to talk you through the next steps, including temporary lodging and living expenses.
Create a Home Inventory
At this point, you may also want to look at creating a home inventory list of everything lost or damaged by the fire. Make sure you are as detailed as possible with your list, as even the smaller items in your home can add up in value. We highly recommend creating a home inventory before an unexpected disaster, since it can be difficult to remember from memory everything that you owned.
Tips on creating a home inventor can be found here: https://www.brokerlink.ca/blog/home-inventory
Replace All Valuable Documents
This is often the most time-consuming task following a major loss, but it is a necessary step to getting your life back in order.
Some of these documents include:
- Birth/Death Certificates
- Marriage Certificate
- Divorce Documents
- Adoption Documents
- Medical Records (such as Vaccination Records)
- Driver’s Licenses
- Social Security Information
- Property Deeds
- Immigration Documents
- Income Tax Returns
- Mortgage Papers
- Savings Bonds
- Insurance Policies/Papers
If you want a no-obligation quote, to make sure you’re protected in case of a house fire, CLICK HERE, or contact an Excalibur Defender today.
If you are looking to replace your insurance papers after a fire, you can contact your insurance broker at 1-888-298-7343 and they will be happy to assist you!