Fire is a tragedy for any business, but there are proven steps that can be taken to ensure a smooth recovery process and proper fire damage restoration.
#1: Contact the Insurance Company ASAP
When fire damage affects a business, the first thing that needs to be done is contacting the insurance company. Filing claims and assessing damage can be a lengthy process, so it is best to get started as soon as possible. This will help avoid delays, meet deadlines, and schedule a prompt appointment with an insurance adjuster.
Furthermore, it is important to make sure that a copy of the insurance policy is available. Familiarize yourself with the details and inclusions of the policy as you move forward through the claims process.
#2: Gather All Necessary Documentation
According to the Insurance Information Institute, businesses in the US suffered over 4.3 billion dollars in property losses from fire damage in 2019 alone. Therefore, documenting the damage to the property is extremely important. Doing so will give the business its best chance at recovering any significant property loss.
Use multiple methods to document the damage, including photos, videos, and detailed written descriptions. Proper documentation will offer the best chance of recuperating the losses.
In addition to recording damage, here are a few other documents that should be gathered:
- Copy of the fire report
- Receipts documenting the fire damage restoration costs
- Inventory lists to ensure no damage or losses get overlooked
#3: Salvage and Remove Undamaged Property
Once all the damaged items are documented, it is important to remove or secure items remaining inside the building to avoid any further damage.
Electronics, equipment, and other expensive items are particularly susceptible to further loss. The business and property are often exposed after fire damage, which could allow thieves to steal anything valuable left behind.
Furthermore, it’s likely that the business will have been affected by the soot, debris, and smoke left in the fire’s wake. This can lead to unexpected damage to the property long after the fire has gone out. Therefore, it’s important to remove any important items that can be damaged by these factors as soon as possible.
#4: Begin Fire Damage Restoration and Repair
The final step is restoring the business to its original condition. Choose a fire damage restoration company like SERVPRO of West Fort Worth who can repair the damage quickly and help restore the property from start to finish.
Here is what to expect during the fire damage restoration process:
- Step 1: Speak with the local repair and restoration contractor. Contact SERVPRO of West Fort Worth.
- Step 2: Bring in restoration professionals for inspection and damage assessment.
- Step 3: These experts will secure the property from further damage, which may include boarding up windows and tarping damaged roofs.
- Step 4: Immediate water cleanup will remove any water left behind from extinguishing the fire.
- Step 5: The restoration team will remove soot and smoke from all surfaces, including walls and ceilings.
- Step 6: The property will be cleaned and sanitized. Also, harmful odors will be neutralized and removed.
- Step 7: Bring the business back to its pre-fire condition and reopen as quickly as possible. This process can include painting, reflooring, and other repairs.