Don't Make Mistakes With the Cleanup: What to Do After a House Fire

If your home has been damaged in a fire, you've got a lot of work ahead of you. Fire damage can be difficult to recover from. The first thing you need to do after a house fire is to notify your insurance company. The sooner you get a claim started, the sooner you can get your life back to normal. If you're going to be out of your home for a while, your insurance company will help to arrange emergency housing for you and your family. Once you've gotten that taken care of, you'll be able to start on the cleanup. Here are four steps that will help you to clean up after a house fire. 

Prepare Before You Enter

If your home has sustained fire damage, you probably want to get back inside as soon as possible. After all, you need to assess the damage. But, before you enter your home, you need to prepare yourself. Your home is now coated with toxic soot and chemicals. Any surface you touch could cause serious health problems for you. To make sure you're protected, put on protective gear. You should be wearing long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. You should also be wearing close-toed shoes, preferably boots. Also, be sure to wear a face mask and safety goggles on your face, as well as gloves on your hands. 

Get Rid of the Contaminated Air

After a fire, your home will be filled with contaminated air. If you don't get ventilation into the house, you'll breathe in soot and harmful chemicals. To avoid that risk, you need to get ventilation to your home as soon as possible. Begin by opening any windows that weren't shattered during the fire. Next, make sure all exterior-facing doors are opened. Finally, if the power is still on to your home, set fans up in each room. Make sure the fans are set up to push air out of your home. 

Don't Touch Any of the Food

When you go into your home, you may find that some areas were not damaged in the fire. If one of those areas is your kitchen, you may notice that your food looks to be undamaged. Don't touch it. Just because your food doesn't show signs of damage, doesn't mean it's safe to eat. Canned goods may have heated to dangerous levels during the fire, causing the contents inside to spoil. Other foods may have been contaminated by soot and airborne chemicals. Any food left in your home will need to be thrown away. 

Arrange for Whole-House Cleaning

Finally, if your home has been damaged by a fire, make sure you arrange for whole-house cleaning. You might think you can get by with only cleaning the rooms that were affected by the fire. But, that's not the case. Smoke damage can affect the entire house. Make sure every room in your home is cleaned and sanitized after a fire.

To learn more about handling fire damage, reach out to professionals near you.