Sometimes even the best prevention plans can not stop a fire from occurring. However, there are preventive measures you can take to mitigate further damage, should your home or business suffer a fire. Because water, smoke and soot are the inevitable elements of secondary damage, it is critical to begin the clean up and recovery as soon as possible. Water and structural issues can pose the greatest threat, leading to mold or structural collapse if not dealt with immediacy and expertise.
Gather your resources for recovery:
Insurance - Contact your insurance agent and review your coverage for your home and business. Ask what will (and will not) be covered in the event of a fire. As a homeowner, will the policy provide for temporary housing if necessary? As a business owner, how much business interruption does your policy guarantee? Our homes and businesses tend to grow and change over the years, a good agent will stay in touch to make sure you do not have any gaps in coverage.
Emergency Contractor - While most insurance carriers will provide a few names of emergency contractors, it is not only your right, but also your responsibility to select a firm who will deliver the best workmanship and fastest recovery. A qualified contractor who specializes in emergency mitigation and restoration should have the industry standard IICRC designation (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification) and be willing to share a variety of references. Most importantly, know who is working in your home or business before signing any agreements (i.e. does the company sub out the work to temporary labor or employ their own staff of cleaning technicians and carpenters?).
Effectively combining your resources for financial recovery (your insurance) and physical recovery (your emergency response contractor) will ensure that you are positioned for the best possible outcome, in the worst case scenario of a fire.