4 Ways to Protect and Restore Your Belongings from a Fire
Fires often feel like a faraway problem that always happen to somebody else, but in reality, firefighters respond to an average of 355,400 house fires each year. There is an annual average of 2,560 people that die in fires and $6.5 billion in property damage.
These numbers are nothing to be scoffed at, so treat fire like the threat that it is and take preventative measures to protect your family and belongings. The safety of family members and pets is first priority, but don’t forget to use these tips to protect your belongings from a fire:
1. Safety Deposit Box
A reliable way to ensure your valuables are not damaged in a house fire is to store them somewhere else. Rent a safety deposit box off-site in a bank or other secure location. Documents that are typically found in these safes include:
- Birth certificate
- Marriage/divorce certificate
- Social security card
- Last will and testament
- Tax returns
- Property deeds
However, there are some downsides to renting a security deposit box. It is expensive and, if the owner of the box passes away, the items are sealed away unless you work out a contingency plan with the bank.
Many families are unable to store these important documents so far away and it is necessary to keep them in the home. For these people, there are more convenient options available to keep their belongings both safe and nearby.
2. Fire Safe
Fire safes are like safety deposit boxes, except they are heat-resistant and kept in the home. The same important documents one would put in a safety deposit box can also be put in a fire safe. However, temperature is something to keep in mind when making that decision.
Fire safes can resist heat only up to a certain temperature. For example, 400 degrees or higher will cause the documents inside the safe to catch fire and 125 degrees or higher will do the same for electronics. Fire safes are not always waterproof, so they are not reliable to protect your items against water damage.
Fire safes come with either a key or combination lock, so you can choose which one to purchase according to your preferences. Another feature to consider is fire safes that have a fire safety certification. There are a variety of different companies that have fire safety standards and will endorse certain fire safes that meet those standards.
3. Exterior and Interior Reconstruction Services
Fire causes property damage to the house or building and that can make the structure unsafe to live in. Restoration companies offer fire damage restoration services to restore and repair items damaged by fire, and they also offer exterior and interior reconstruction. Your home itself is a valuable item, too, and these services provide cleanup and repair options for the house.
Exterior reconstruction services address the damage done to the outside of the building by the fire. The restoration professionals efficiently repair the following structures:
- Concrete or brick surfaces
- Roofing repairs
Interior reconstruction services address the damage done to the inside of the building by the fire. Don’t wait to have these features fixed because if unaddressed, the problem will only grow. The restoration professionals adequately repair the following structures:
- Flooring and ceilings
- Crawlspaces and attics
- Drapery, upholstery, masonry, etc.
It is impossible to protect the exterior and interior of your home before the fire, but you can take steps afterward to restore and repair them. Restoration companies offer fire damage repair to help you save an often overlooked valuable: your house.
4. Homeowner’s Insurance
Check to make sure your insurance policy covers items lost to heat, fire, or smoke damage. Insuring your belongings will help replace those that were damaged if your other preventative measures failed. Having homeowner’s insurance will provide you with much-needed peace of mind regarding your valuables at risk for fire damage.
In order to get proper coverage, make a detailed list and take pictures of your belongings before they are destroyed by fire. Possible important items include:
Include this list in the group of important documents you want to keep safe from fire damage. Place it with the others in a safety deposit box or fire box for protection.
Fires are a dangerous and devastating threat to your livelihood, so be sure to follow these steps to keep your belongings safe. Protecting certain valuables will assist you in rebuilding your life and moving on from the fire.