In 2013, a house fire was reported every 85 seconds in the U.S. These fires lead to injuries, deaths, and significant property damage. Every family is at risk for a house fire, but there are things you can do to minimize your family’s risk of injury or death if you do experience a fire in your home.
Important Parts of a Home Fire Escape Plan
While you may not want to think about the possibility of a fire in your home, it is important to sit down with your entire family to create a fire escape plan. Be sure to involve every member of your family, so that everyone knows what to do in case of a fire.
Your home fire escape plan should include:
- Two exits from each room, in case your primary exit route is blocked.
- Working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Plan to test them and replace their batteries annually.
- A meeting place outside your home, so everyone knows that your entire family has made it out of the house safely.
Never re-enter the house after a fire, until the fire fighters have given you the all-clear. Even if it seems like the fire is out, flare-ups can happen. The fire may have weakened the structural supports of the house, making it unsafe to be inside.
Once the fire is out, the first thing you should do is call your homeowners’ insurance agent. They will be your best source of advice and resources to get your life back to normal as quickly as possible.
Fire Damage Restoration
When you’re ready to restore or rebuild your house, ask your insurance agent to recommend a reputable fire damage restoration company. Unlike a general contractor, restoration companies specialize in removing smoke, soot, ash, and other signs of fire damage. They also repair water damage, as well as structural and cosmetic damage from the fire.
While you may be tempted to hire the first fire damage restoration company you find, take your time and interview several. The restoration process may take several weeks or months, so spending a few extra days to be sure you hire the right restoration company will not significantly delay your return home.