The experienced fire loss attorneys from Azrael, Franz, Schwab and Lipowitz discuss the important steps to take immediately following a fire in your home or place of work.
Recovering from a fire can cause physical, emotional and mental harm. When fire strikes, lives are turned around and many things are lost forever. Most of the time, the hardest part is knowing where to begin and who to contact. The following provides a brief checklist to follow immediately following a fire.
- If you are insured, contact your insurance company for detailed instructions on protecting the property, conducting an inventory and contacting fire damage restoration companies. If you are not insured, try contacting private organizations for aid and assistance.
- Contact your local disaster relief service if you need temporary housing, food and medicine. The Red Cross can be a helpful option.
- Check with the fire department to make sure your residence is safe to enter. Be watchful of any structural damage caused by the fire.
- The fire department should see that the utilities are either safe to use or are disconnected before they leave the site. Do not attempt to reconnect utilities on your own.
- Locate valuable documents and records if possible.
- Conduct an inventory of damaged property and items. Have an inventory in place before discarding any damaged goods.
- If you leave your home for an extended period of time, contact the local police department and let them know the site will be unoccupied as a safety precaution.
- Notify your mortgage company of the fire.
- Begin saving receipts for money spent related to fire loss. The receipts may be needed by insurance companies and for verifying losses claimed on income tax.
- Discuss the legalities with an experienced fire loss attorney. They may be able to help with compensation if the fire was a result of neglect by a person or company.
Although these tips are necessary, the last may deem most beneficial. Having an experienced professional by your side during this unfortunate experience could mean the difference between getting compensation and attempting to pick up the pieces by yourself.
For more information regarding fire loss and measures to be aware of, contact the experienced fire loss attorneys at Azrael, Franz, Schwab and Lipowitz.
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